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Full text of "Nature's realm"

HARVARD UNIVERSITY. 




LIBRARY 



1 



OF THE 

MUSEUM OF COMPARATIVE ZOOLOGY 

Bequest of 
WILLIAM BREWSTER 



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Vol. 11.. No. i. 



JANUARY, ibyi. 



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A MONTHLY M V.\Z1NF. OF 

Popular Natural History. 

William (." H \kki-. Managing Editor. 

SUBSCRIPTION PRICE. - - - $? 00 PER ANNUM. 



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A Glorious River— The St Lawrence. 

Tlie Yellow Warbler or Blossom-eater. 

Tlie Three Vinpns. An Allegorv, 

The Spectral Fiddler of the Bail Lands. 

The Farmer's Bo v. .... 

The Paradise Fish and lis Breeding Hahits, 

I in- Flight ul the Moose Bird. 

The Eagles "t I.och au F.lean, 

Our National Flower, 

The Death of Sum me i Vi h'rttuUfn Pirrc* Carrigau 

Among ihe Moose. Caribou, Bear and Beaver. J .if.-,-,, ■ 

The Aquarium, Camtuct.it by Hugo Multrtt 



Kits. , 
K. M <■ 
yt'iin hi Knr Bui 

Stiiiiu.l lUrkfi 

Arthur /■'. A'/.. 

Huge Mutant 

''reticle /fomr,/ 

yiititt's CitmaroM 

'■ Morris OiUt 



MIIKS \S|1 Ol KKI 

laming Wild Birds. A Frog on an i Kiting 

A Mongrel Stork or Heron. Nature's Persevera 

An Emigration ol Ants I '•■ Water Snakes Poison Fr*h '. 

Nature's Realm Y.-rs. \ii.\mt- to Correspondent! 



I'UBLISHKI) ll^ 



THK HARRIS PUBLISHING CO.. 



io Warrfn Si \eu York. 
.1 KMVK 1 ■MMI-T .IR„ Prw't II R HtRRIS, 



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NATURE'S REALM. 



Vol. II. 



JANUARY, 1891. 



No. 1. 



A GLORIOUS RIVER— THE ST. LAWRENCE. 
Bv T. O. Russell. 



The St. Lawrence is certainly the most re- 
markable river in the world. The Amazon or 
the Congo may pour a larger volume of water 
into the ocean ; the Mississippi or the Nile may 
be longer, but none of those mighty streams 
can compare in scenic beauty with that glo- 
rious river that leaps the cataract of Niagara 
and forms the broad expanse of crystal water 
gemmed with the Thousand Isles. 

The St. Lawrence is a phenomenon among 
rivers. No other river is fed by such gigantic 
lakes. No other river is so independent ot the 
elements. It despises alike rain, snow and 
sunshine. Ice and wind may be said to be the 
only things that affect its mighty flow. Some- 
thing almost as phenomenal as the St. Law- 
rence itself is the tact that there is so little gen- 
erally known about it. It might be safely af- 
firmed that not one per cent, of the American 
public are aware of the fact that among all the 
great rivers ot the world, the St. Lawrence is 
the only absolutely floodless one. Such, how- 
ever, is the case. The difference between high 
and low water in the Ohio at Cincinnati is 
nearly fifty feet. Even the Upper Mississsippi, 
placid and smooth-flowing a stream as it is, 
sometimes overflows the country for miles on 
either side of its banks. The turbulent Mis- 
souri is also subject to immense rises. Some 
eight years ago it very nearly drowned out the 
flourishing city of Council Bluffs, and, had it 
risen three feet more, the magnificent iron 
bridge that spans it, and that connects Council 
Bluffs with Omaha, would have only spanned 
a mud-hole, and the vagabond river would 
have carved out a new channel for itself right 



through the centre of Council Bluffs. Even the 
mighty Amazon has its rises and falls ; if its 
southern and northern tributaries should hap- 
pen to be low, or to be high at the same time, 
it becomes seriously affected. Every river, in 
fact, on this continent, and all over the world, 
has great rises and falls brought about by the 
elements, the St. Lawrence alone excepted. 

But the St. Lawrence sometimes causes ter- 
rible trouble when the waters get jammed by 
ice. Only a few years ago it almost drowned 
out Montreal and did millions of dollars' worth 
of damage. The flood was not caused by rain, 
but by an ice gorge and the peculiar character 
of the river at Montreal. That city is only a 
mile below the rapids of Lachine, and the ice 
in spring time is driven down the rapids at the 
rate of millions of tons per hour. Just below 
the rapids the large island of St. Helens and 
the small one called Isle Ronde bar the passage 
of the ice, and it often gets gorged in the nar- 
row channel between Isle. Ronde and the north- 
ern shore. The last time Montreal was inun- 
dated by the obstructed waters of the St. Law- 
rence, the ice in the narrow channel was esti- 
mated to be nearly a hundred feet in thickness. 
If some means are not adopted for blowing up 
the ice gorge with dynamite when it suddenly 
forms owing to a rapid breaking up of the ice 
above the Lachine Rapids, Montreal may some 
day be ruined. 

The St. Lawrence despises rain and sun- 
shine. Its greatest variation caused by drought 
or rain hardly ever exceeds a foot or fourteen 
inches. The cause of this almost everlasting 
sameness of volume is easily understood. The 



NATURES REALM. 



St. Lawrence is fed by the mightiest bodies of 
tresh water on earth. Immense as is the vol- 
ume of water it pours into the ocean, any one 
who has traversed all the immense lakes that 
feed it, and tor the surplus waters ot whiJ-i it 
is the only channel to the sea, wonders that it 
is not even more gigantic than it is. Not one 
drop of the waters of the five great lakes finds 
its way to the ocean save through this gigan- 
tic, extraordinary and wondrously beautiful 
river. No wonder, then, that it should despise 
the rain and defy the sunshine. 

The headwaters of the St. Lawrence take 
their rise in Minnesota and form what is known 
as the river St. Louis. It is a small stream, 
and falls into Lake Superior at Duluth. The 
St. Lawrence is generally thought to be a com- 
paratively short river. This idea is by no 
means correct, for, measured from the head- 
waters of the St. Louis River to where it min- 
gles with the ocean, the distance will be found 
to be little short ot three thousand miles. The 
St. Lawrence is in reality longer than the Mis- 
sissippi proper, not counting the Missouri, and 
there are probably not more than six rivers in 
the world that exceed it in length ; but none of 
which, except the Amazon, pours more than 
halt the volume of the St. Lawrence into the 
ocean. The river St. Marie, that connects 
Lake Superior with Lake Huron, is where the 
St. Lawrence next assumes the form of a river. 
It is here an immense volume of water, nearly 
a mile wide and wondrously beautiful ; here 
tumbling over rapids and there expanding into 
crystal lakes. But the picturesqueness ot the 
river St. Marie is sadly marred by a canal and 
by an immense lock that is said to be the "larg- 
est in the world. The St. Lawrence next 
makes its appearance as a river at Sarnia, 
where it rushes out of Lake Huron — a verita- 
ble giant nearly half a mile wide, eighty feet 
deep and with such a rapid current that a 
steam-propelled craft only can breast it. Here 
it is called the Detroit River, and, except where 
it expands into Lake St. Clair, retains its river 
character until it is lost in Lake Erie. The 
scenery from Sarnia to Lake Erie, while not 
striking, is yet very beautiful. The waters of 
the St. Lawrence are here, as they are every- 



where, clear as crystal, pure as nature could 
make them, transparent as a mirror. 

When the St. Lawrence issues out of Lake 
Erie its real glories begin. I'll not attempt to 
describe Niagara. It would be folly in me, for 
the greatest of those who have attempted it 
have utterly failed. For nearly ten miles 
of its course above and below the cataract the 
St. Lawrence is the glorv and the wonder of 
the world, with its rushing, gleaming, teaming 
rapids above the falls ; with the falls them- 
selves, their immensity, their thunder and their 
rainbows ; and then the seething, swirling river 
below, confined in the narrow gorge into which 
it has leaped ; shooting up in ragged masses ot 
water twenty feet high from unfathomable 
abysses ; plunging wildly against the rock- 
barriers out of which its own maddened wa\e- 
have cut a channel ; careening round and 
round in the whirlpool ; gradually subsiding, 
and at last flowing into Lake Ontario withou 
a ripple. 

After the glory of Niagara comes the glory 
of the Thousand Isles. Very different indeed 
are they from Niagara ; but the Thousand Isle- 
are as unrivalled in their own way as Niagara. 
There is nothing like them in the world, so far 
as it has been explored. The Thousand Isles 
want but one thing to make them as nearly 
heavenly as it would be possible for anything 
earthly to be, and that is mountain scenery. 
Of this they have none. The Canadian side of 
the river is, however, at one place very steep, 
forming most picturesque cliffs covered with 
green trees of unnumbered species. But the 
Isles themselves are the wonders of the scene. 
There are a great many more than a thousand — 
sixteen hundred and ninety-two, according to 
the most reliable count Some contain thou- 
sands of acres ; some are no bigger than a tea- 
table. The biggest and the least of them are 
beautiful. All are covered with shrubs or 
something green, and all are surrounded by- 
water so clear, so wonderfully pure, as can lie 
found in no river save in the St. Lawrence. 
This purity of water is one of the great charms 
of this glorious river. If the Thousand Isles 
were in the Ohio or Missouri they would loser 
most of their charms, for the waters of those 



NATURES REALM. 



rivers are the color of pea soup during nine 
months of every year. The same cause that 
makes the St. Lawrence rloodless makes its 
waters pure ; the great lakes that teed it ab- 
sorb any sediment washed into their waters ; 
they are alike its parents and its purifiers. 

The sail down the St. Lawrence from Kings- 
ton to Montreal is the most extraordinary and 
exciting river journey in the world. The scen- 
ery of the Hudson is certainly finer than that 
of the St. Lawrence ; but the Hudson, glorious 
as it is, is only an estuary. Its banks are beau- 
tiful but its waters are sluggish. If the St. 
Lawrence had the mountain scenery • of the 
Hudson, its fame would reach the ends of the 
earth. But in sailing down the St. Lawrence 
from Kingston to Montreal, one's whole atten- 
tion is taken up with the river itself. There is 
no time to gaze around, for soon after the boat 
leaves the mazes of the Thousand Isles the 
rapids begin. Any sensation more delightful 
than being carried along at the rate of fifteen 
miles an hour by rushing waters it would be 
impossible to imagine. If mountains were piled 
on mountains on either side, not one in fifty 
would care to look at them while shooting the 
Cascade, Long Sault or the Lachine Rapids; 
and it must be borne in mind that the greater 
part of the sail from the Thousand Islands to 
Montreal is through rapids more or less swift. 
No passenger, not even the most timid, feels 
any nervousness in shooting through the Cas- 
cade or Long Sault Rapids. On approaching 
Montreal, however, the greatest rapids on the 
river, those of Lachine, are encountered. To 
stand on the bank ot the river and gaze across 
more than a mile wide of rushing, roaring 
waters, leaping and tumbling over the " pre- 
cipitous black jagged rocks' that rise here and 
there out of the foam, one would imagine that 
to take a great steamboat drawing six or eight 
feet of water down such a cataract would be 
certain destruction both to passengers and cralt. 
But such is the immensity of the volume of 
water that there is very little danger. No seri- 
ous accident has ever occurred to a steamboat 
going down the Lachine Rapids. It must, how- 
ever, be confessed that many a brave man has 
turned pale where, in one place, the boat has 
to take a plunge of six or seven feet perpen- 



dicular. In less than ten minutes alter the 
boat takes the big leap she is in the harbor of 
Montreal and has no more rapids to shoot. 

The voyage from Kingston to Montreal is 
made in a day. The boats leave Kingston 
early in the morning in order to make the en- 
tire trip by daylight ; this they always do, 
although the distance is I98 miles. The boats 
are not nearly so large as those in the Hudson, 
but they are as safe and commodious .is care 
and skill could make them. To those who 
want to take the most beautiful as well as the 
most curious trip perhaps on this continent, 
and to any one who wants to experience a new 
sensation of the most delightful kind, I would 
say, "Shoot the rapids of the St. Lawrence." 

From Montreal to Ouebec the St. Lawrence 
is very unpicturesque ; it is too big to be beauti- 
ful, and is more like a great arm of the sea 
than a river. As Ouebec is approached, the 
scenery becomes ot great interest, especially 
from a historic point of view. The river narrows 
to less than a mile in width, and Ouebec, the 
great fortress of not only the St. Lawrence, but 
of half the continent, is seen towering on an 
apparently perpendicular rock some hundreds 
of feet over the narrow water-way it effectually 
guards. It was near here that the fate of half 
a continent was decided a hundred and thirty- 
one years ago in the memorable battle ot the 
plains of Abraham, by which France lost the 
noblest of all her colonial possessions. Below 
Quebec the St. Lawrence becomes a sea, and 
is so wide that it entirely loses its river charac- 
ter. But the lower river possesses one point 
of wonderful beauty and sublimity, that is the 
embouchure of the mighty Saguenay. This 
river joins the St. Lawrence a hundred and fif- 
teen miles below Ouebec, and between two 
giant headlands called Cape Fternity and Cape 
Trinity. The scenery of the Saguenay is of 
the grandest and sublimest kind, but could 
hardly be described in connection with that ot 
the St. Lawrence. The Saguenay, like the 
mighty stream into which it flows maj be 
counted among the remarkable rivers ■' this 
continent, and is well worthy of a separate 
article. 

Ere closing this short description ol me of 
the mightiest and certainly the most remarka- 



NA Tl -RE'S REALM. 



ble river on earth, it might not be out of place 
to supplement it with the following 

HYMN TO THE ST. LAWRENCE. 

Methinks there's naught on earth more beautiful 
Than the wild rush of some broad, glittering river. 
Rivers there are of dull and silent flow- 
That wake no joyous feelings in the soul ; 
But thou, O glorious, sparkling, crystal stream, 
Art full of life, of laughter and <>t song — 

ti • man, a blessing to the earth ! 
From where thou rusheth out of Huron's breast 
To where thv mighty tribute meets the - 
Thou'rt ever beautiful : e'en where thou |>uttest on 
Thv sternest aspect, and with mighty bound 
Hurlest thyself in thunder and in foam 
Down broad Niagara's tremendous steep, 
Thou •i'.ill art beautiful, and hid'st thy wrath 
Behind a cloud of silver and of gold 
And robest thyself in rainbows : beautiful 
In lake, or fall, 01 rushing cataract. 
Our noblest river and our fairest, thou ! 

Manv the mighty streams that wend their way 

O'er this vast continent from sea to - 

\\ -~ wasting waters shrink 'math summer suns 

Till they become mere mockeries of rivers : 

But th.m defiest the elements ; rains may fall, 

And creeping rills may swell to catara 

But th.m remainest unchanged ; thou art so broad. 

So deep and mighty that thou dost disdain 

The p< tty tribute sent thee from the clouds. 

er of the bright sun also art thou . 
His angry beams may beat upon thy breast — 
Fordavs unnumbered no small, fleecy cloud 
Mav mar the fierceness of his burning: rays 



That shrink up mighty rivers into rills : 

But thou defiest alike the summer suns 

And torrents of the autumn or the spring. 

Thou drawest thy strength not from the clouds ot heaven. 

For all the waters of vast inland seas 

Pour themselves oceanward through thee, 

Disdainerof the sunshine and the rain ! 

Emblem of purity and strength art thou 
Beyond all other rivers of the earth ; 
Thou'rt unpolluted and pollutest not ; 
Thou art too mighty to be marred by man. 
He raises stately cities on thy shores. 
And on the lakes that feed thy giant flood. 
But thou remain'st unsullied ; thy blue waves 
Sparklingand bright in crystal purity 
Roll gleaming on amid the Thousand I- - 
And down the laughing rapids to the sea, 
Pure as when first the sunlight kissed thy face, 
And lit thy beauties for a voiceless world. 

With all the beauties of thy bosky isles. 
With all the wonders of thy thund'ring falls, 
With all that loveliness supreme of thine 
That crowns thee king of rivers, thine own sons 
Are but half-hearted in their love of thee : 
They turn from thee in coldness and disdain 

_:ize upon some old-world tiny stream 
Richer than thou in legend and in song. 
But fear not, river of unshrinking wave 
And scorner of the elements ! thy fame 
Shal! yet be spread abroad o'er all the earth, 
Ami men will leave their homes in far-off lands, 
Will turn their backs on Europe's storied stream — 
Their ruined strongholds of grim robber king - 
Their dark mementos of a feudal past, 
To worship at thy shrine where all are free. 




THE YELLOW WARBLER OR BLOSSOM-EATER. 

By R. M. G. 



There are few indeed who may be consid- 
ered lovers of our feathered friends unfamiliar 
with the vivacious song of the yellow warbler. 
The air is lull of the joyous notes of myriads of 
happy songsters, and a practiced ear can 
readily detect the ditties of twenty well-known 
species in the grove near at hand, while the 
willow copse at the edges of the stream adds 
its quota of harmony to the May-day chorus. 
Swaying on the topmost spray of the budding 
pussy willow near may be seen the blue-eyed 
yellow warbler, an active little fellow dressed 
in a bright coat of chrome yellow with a tinge 
of greenish. His breast is streaked with burnt 
umber, while his eye, characteristic of the spe- 
cies and a peculiarity in coloration in birds, is 
light blue. His song floats to us almost unin- 
terruptedly, though after the first burst seem- 
ing to come from a different source. The gay, 
suspicious creature is shy, easily made anxious 
by our presence in its chosen haunts, and is 
riving about us from bush to bush intent on a 
tour of inspection. Down among the trees and 
bushes bordering the brook and river his thrill- 
ing notes can be heard all the day long from 
early May until middle of June. Unlike many 
of our common birds, he does not cease to sing 
when the sun is high in the heavens, but rather 
increases his bursts of liquid melody during 
the warmer hours in seeming rivalry to the 
red-eyed vireos of the grove, chanting their 
praise in the spotted shade formed by the par- 
tially foliaged elms and basswoods. 

The song of this species is thrilling in its 
sweetness, and, though not long, it compen- 
sates for its brevity in vivacity. I know noth- 
ing more agreeable or inspiriting than the 
notes of this bird issuing from a copse in early 
morning when the sun has lent his beams and 
the dew still glitters on the early foliage of the 
willows. The summer yellow bird, as it is 
often called, is one of the first to make its pres- 
ence known in the morning, and they are often 
heard while still the whippoorwill is monoto- 
nously quavering his jargon and the noiseless 



bats are wheeling above in murky air. The 
simple song, but doubly sweet at this time, 
sounds almost out of place while yet the owl is 
lurking for his prey, but is always agreeable to 
one who, from choice or duty, goes abroad at 
this hour. We cannot claim superiority for 
the notes of this pleasing performer of the bush 
from any elegance of modulation, as it is out- 
ranked by many in true merit as to music. 
The soft-toned song of the scarlet tanager and 
bell-like notes of the wood thrush, or the rip- 
pling warble of the warbling vireo, are perhaps 
more truly musical, but they do not more per- 
fectly fill their part in the chorus than do the 
ecstatic notes of this warbler, whose cheerful 
song possesses an inspiriting power to a re- 
markable degree. One who hears the cheerful 
song will ever remember it if he has an ear for 
harmony and a love for birds. I shall not at- 
tempt a description of this song, lor, although 
some songs are uttered 50 plainly in distinct 
syllables, as we may say, as to even be set to 
music, most series of notes are beyond descrip- 
tion. If we assert that the songs of birds which 
are the most difficult to describe are the most 
beautiful, we shall be correct. The true music 
issuing from the throats of most feathered sing- 
ers is above comparison or criticism. 

One cannot fail to have favorites, and our se- 
lection is unconsciously made even with the 
birds. We look upon some as our sentimental 
friends, as we would hold a musician or poet; 
again we compare those ot chivalric tendencies 
and yet again those of vulgar characteristics 
and flashy appearance, or of manners arrogant 
or unconscionable. Our little friend under 
discussion is certainly a favorite, and as thor- 
oughly knitted to our sympathies as it is possi- 
ble to ally one of these winged gems with our 
human sentiments. To me this bird will ever 
be cherished in my heart of hearts. Years 
ago, when the advantages afforded by works 
on ornithology were unknown to me; at a time 
when names of many — nay, nearly all — ot our 
feathered friends were catalogued in my mem- 



NATURE'S REALM. 



ory by names of my own coinage, this species 
was denominated the blossom-eater, and to 
This day I prefer the name be- 
cause of early associations. 
The remembrance is sweet to 
me of the time when I watched 
with childish wonderment the 
trim, graceful creatures feeding 
from the catkins of the willows, 
or searched in the thickets 
around the cow pasture for that 
rarity to me, the handsome, 
well-formed nests. 

This species is well distrib- 
uted and abundant. On the 
parallel of 42 ° north latitude it 
arrives about May 1, though I 
have observed it as early as 
April 19. The birds appear 
first on our southern border in 
March, and, passing up as far as 
St. Louis, Mo., by April 12 reach 
us, first in small numbers, but 
within a short time the haunts 
are filled. 

One locality near Kalamazoo, 
Mich., is called to mind, a small 
stream noted for its trout, on 
the banks of which the 

\ 



warblers build abun- 
dantly. There among 
the willows, alders, 
elderberry bushes and 
small trees the 
habits may be X^~ 
studied. While <D0> 
silently fish- ^7/^/ 
ing I have 
frequent- 
ly observed 
these little 
yellow me- /-/ 
teors within a few 
yards of me, and have 
had excellent opportunities 
to notice their habits. Few 
of us are aware of the advantages of occasion- 
ally sitting in some secluded place in wood or 
field and awaiting developments. It is not 
best to dash through forests and clearings; in 



fact it is never the correct way for collecting or 
observing nature. Some of my best discover- 



1 -s 




■#ff^ 






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V 




o 



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Haunts of the Yellow Warbler. 



ies have been made when quietly seated in a 
retired spot, even watching a familiar bird. 

T*he yellow warbler, when unsuspicious, a 
condition which obtains in a short time, pro- 



NATURES REALM. 



vided we* remain quiet after entering his 
haunts, has many interesting traits unobserved 
by tho^e who idly pass. He is a veritable ac- 
robat, and will hang head downward and then 
assume the upright position without apparent 
effort. He rolls and circles around a twig 
much more easily than the most accomplished 
performer on a bar, and infinitely quicker. 
Our performer is so vivacious and erratic that 
it is impossible to tell what act this agile bird 
will do next as we watch his movements. 
Skipping from twig to twig, now flying from 
bush to bush, again hanging head downward 
from the end of a swaying branch, and ever 
uttering its vivacious notes, of which it has two 
series, it is ever pleasing to the eye and ear. 
Soon after arriving the birds may be seen chas- 
ing one another, and many are mated within 
a week after the arrival of the females, which 
appear a few days later than the males. The 
battles between the birds during the first half 
of May are very amusing, at least to the spec- 
tator. It is fair to judge that new mates are 
chosen each season, although this is contrary 
to the theories of some observers of our song 
birds, who claim that birds of this class are 
constant. At least bird battles do occur among 
the yellow warblers, as with all our singers 
each season, as if at least to hold their claims 
good in the interest of old mates. 

After mating has taken place the pair look 
for a suitable nesting place, The nest is 
usually begun by May 15, but often earlier. 
Tbe nest is almost invariably placed in a bush. 
A wild rose is selected, alder, hazel, or, more 
rarely, a willow or thorn. Nests are occasionallv 
taken in gardens and orchards, when an apple, 
plum tree or current bush is chosen. Nesting 
sites are, however, usually near the courses of 
streams. The structure is generally placed 
from four to ten feet high, rarely at a greater 
altitude. The net is an exceedingly neat affair 
and is rarely surpassed by the nests of any of 
our species — noted for artistic form and neat- 
ness. It is usually situated in a fork in a small 
bush, and is so interlaced with the twigs form- 
ing its support as to be sometimes detached 
from its lodgment with great difficulty. The 
twigs bearing leaves usually at the time when 
the young appaar, look as if they grew through 



or from the nest, giving the structure an odd 
appearance. Externally the nest is composed 
of a substance resembling tow in consistence 
and of a grayish color when seen from a dis- 
tance. The material is tenacious and disposed 
in circular layers. The lining is composed of 
a variety of softer materials, among which is 
the downy portions of catkins, making a soft 
bed for the eggs. Occasionally a pink-colored 
cottony substance is added both outside and 
in. It is appropriated from the ferns and adds 
a pleasing variety in coloration to the nest. 

The summer yellow bird has a decided pe- 
culiarity in leaving its nest for some time after 
its completion and before laying its eggs. It 
is possible that the pair want to discover the 
nature of the neighbors, and are waiting to 
satisfy themselves of the desirability of the 
chosen site. He that as it may, they often 
make a mistake, and, in their anxiety, fre- 
quently encounter difficulties from which they 
only extricate themselves at great pains. 

The cow bird, that socially low bird of most 
immoral views, is ever on the alert for a nest 
of the absent warbler, and, in her anxiety 
cuckoo-like to cast her offspring on to the 
fostering care of the poor overburdened house 
holders, not rarely overdoes the matter, and 
the eggs are deposited long before the rightful 
owner is ready to begin housekeeping, or de- 
posits their hopes of future posterity in too 
great numbers along with the eggs of the war- 
bler, much to the indignation of the legitimate 
property claimants. Perhaps no bird is so 
abused as the little yellow warbler by the now 
considered polygamous cow bird, and it is sate 
and agreeable to say that no species exhibits 
greater spirit or ingenuity in maintaining its 
rights and circumventing the would-be de- 
spoiler of its home. The pair do not consider 
these immoral plebians as their neighbors, but 
view them as interlopers and social vampires, 
and will not vacate the premises, or at least 
hut rarely, for the prospective aliens. With 
great determination the warblers begin a sec- 
ond nest directly above or literally on the first 
nest, and in a short time entirely cover the ob- 
jectionable egg or eggs of the detested cow 
bird, after which the eggs of the legitimate 
nest builders are deposited in the upper n 







Nest of the Yellow Warbler, Showing Tiers of Eggs. 



NATURES REALM. 



Sometimes one or more eggs of the warbler 
are sacrificed with the hated aliens, such is the 
detestation of these birds toward the inter- 
lopers. 

Several structures now before me exhibit the 
architectural skill displayed by these thought- 
ful birds in thus relieving themselves of an un- 
solicited addition to their family. As many as 
one nest in fifteen is thus built in order to en- 
tomb the objectionable eggs, and the incubus 
is a second time resisted in one instance, to my 
knowledge, thereby presenting the decidedly 
unusual condition, even in this anomalous re- 
lation, of a three-storied nest. During the 
early part of the construction a foolish cow 
bird, anticipating rather prematurely, laid an 
egg. This was soon covered and the nest 
finished. Two eggs were then deposited to the 
credit of the happy warblers ere they were 
again cruelly imposed upon. Thinking that 
the neighborhood was moral and that nothing 
would occur to harm their house at the side of 
the road, the pair flitted about in their happi- 
ness and innocence of ill, little suspecting the 
designs of two crafty, dusky cow birds, which 
had skulked about for several days. Alas ! 
when the joyous warblers returned they were 
greeted with the sight of two speckled eggs 
twice as large as their own, which were 
crowded out of place. After this imposition 
the determined pair, probably from former 
years' experience, immediately began a second 
time to evade the encroachments of the spoli- 
ators. Without hesitation they immediately 



inhumed their own eggs with the unsought 
additions. When discovered their work ot 
love had advanced to that stage where the re- 
mainder of the clutch of eggs reposed in the 
upper story or nest of this remarkable struc- 
ture. The three eggs in the upper or nest 
proper were advanced in incubation, while the 
four eggs in the second story and one in the 
lower were still fresh, but doomed to destruc- 
tion from their position and the want of heat 
only supplied by the bird's body. 

In those cases where the eggs of the cow bird 
are hatched the old yellow warblers, owners of 
the nest, are kind and attentive to the young 
aliens. The fond pair, though forced in their 
adoption, are generally devoted to these per- 
fidious children of fate up to the time of their 
departure from their alien home. 

As late summer draws on the handsome 
yellow warbler is more rarely seen and heard, 
the little fellow keeping himself concealed in 
the low bushes about the streams, occasionally 
enlivening the scene by flitting through one ot 
the vistas of the willow copse, when it will be 
noticed that his plumage, after the recent 
moulting, is not so bright as in early summer. 
As the # golden rod rears its golden racemes to 
our view in the rank grass at the roadside the 
warbler becomes scarcer, and, by the time that 
the pleasing autumn flowers are in their glory, 
the little yellow meteors have all left us for 
their seven to eight months' vacation in the 
sunny south. 



A TRUE GLACIER IN MEXICO. 



Prof. Heilprin's party, who have been explor- 
ing in Mexico and Yucatan for four months 
past, under the direction of the Philadelphia 
Academy of Sciences, has recently returned 
chock full of delightful success and new infor- 
mation in all departments of natural history. 
On Mount Ixtaccihuatl, which is the third high- 
est mountain in Mexico, was found a true gla- 
cier. Although the wreck of a true volcano it 
no longer presents the form of a symmetrical 
volcanic cone, but exhibits a long broken crest 



upon which snow and ice have accumulated to 
a thickness of from 75 to 100 feet. Enormous 
crevasses traverse this ice in all directions and 
make the ascent in combination with the very 
deep slope of the mountain, one of great diffi- 
culty and no inconsiderable danger. The ice 
is, in fact, a new moving glacier, and presents 
all the features which distinguish the glaciers 
of the Alps. It has been supposed hitherto 
that glaciers were completely wanting in 
Mexico. 



THE THREE VIRGINS. 

AN ALLEGORY. 
I'.v Jean La Rif. Burnett. 
Three virgin sisters met at close of day 
Upon a cross-road in life's weary way 

Called Maidenhood, and while they pause to greet, 
It chanced an aged hag with sable dress 
Came weeping bitterly as in distress 

A-down the thorny road with blood-stained feet. 

" Prithee, good mother," did the virgins cry, 
The while the senile dame went hobbling by, 

" Pause thou with us and rest thyself awhile; 
Thy limbs are weary, sorrsw-stained thy face — 
Pause, for there is no other resting place 

Save this, for many a long and dreary mile." 

The travailed woman turned her snow-white head, 
Bow'd with the bitterness of years long dead, 

Her voice rang hollow through the twilight gloom : 
*' My name is Age," saith she, " I know no rest ! 
The wizard Time hath willed a fruitless quest 

To be my hapless lot until the tomb." 

" What seeketh thou, Dame Age ?" one virgin cried, 
" Tell us thy quest; perchance our aid may guide 

Thee to the Mecca of thy life's desire." 
" Alack ! my child, I once was young like thee; 
Then had I that which now I seek," quoth she; 

" Nor prized it — lost 'tis hopeless to acquire ! " 

" It is a gem of priceless worth called 'Joy,' 
The which no god hath power to destroy : 

As crystal pure — no jewel quite so rare ! 
There is a certain youth who hath this gem 
With others compassed in a diadem ; 

Love is his name, so young is he and fair." 

" His eyes are blue, and golden is his hair. 
Bold is his heart and soft and debonnair ; 

He rides a fiery steed whose name is Pride — 
Betide he wandered forth this gladsome day; 



Saw you him pass along this weary way ? 



," ; " 
Alas ! we saw him not," the maidens cried. 



" Pray tell us, aged mother, how can we 

Find this sweet youth, and we will seek with thee, 

For we would have this wondrous gem," cried they. 
•' Search long and faithfully," exclaimed the dame, 
•' And when you find him whisper low your name ! " — 

And on the morrow each one went her way. 



The years sped by. 
It chanced one boist'rous winter day. 

With sorrow's storms and cold beset, 
On Middle Age, life's roughest way. 

Again this virgin trio met. 

I. 

And she whose name was Beauty came ahead. 

As one who, weeping, mourneth for the dead : 

Her brow was wrinkled and her pallid face 

Had lost the sweetness of its youth-tide grace. 

Bow'd was her head and icy-cold her breath, 

Her lips blue with the chill of coming death. 

" Thrice 'round the weary world I've been," said she ; 

•• I've braved the storms and tides of sorrow's sea, 

I've faced the pangs and bitterness of Care 

To seek this wondrous jewel everywhere ; 

Once saw I this sweet youth, and as he came 

I whispered in his yearning ear my name. 

Alas ! he lingered by me but a day, 

Then on his snow-white charger dashed away.'' 

n. 

Next she whose name was Fortune forward came. 

With head bent down as if with care and shame. 

She walked with feeble footsteps weak and slow ; 

Her raven locks turned white by winter's snow. 

The erstwhile pureness of her marble brow 

Rude care had mocked with Sorrow's footprints now, 

And faithless Time had left no single trace 

To mark the vigor of her virgin grace. 

" Long have I sought this gem," she weeping said, 

" In lands of Living and in lands of Dead ; 

< mce I too saw this youth, and as he came 

1 shouted proudly forth my glorious name : 

I saw him turn his god-like head and sigh 

As on his snowy steed he hastened by." 

III. 
Then she whose name was Trust came down tin- way, 
Burst from her lips a Hood of melody. 
The while the coMness ot the snow-bound air 
Seemed changed to honeyed fragrance rich and rare. 
Her dancing feet sped o'er the chilly ground, 
Weird echo-music floated all around, 
And deep within her eyes a hidden light 
Beamed with a soft effulgence, ever bright. 
The mellow accents of her voice rang clear 
And echoed from the hilltops far and near : 
" ! too saw this fair youth, and as he came 
I spoke with trembling lips my humble name. 
Then at my feet he cast his diadem— 
Lo ! gentle sisters, I have brought the gem." 



THE SPECTRAL FIDDLER OF THE BAD LANDS. 



By Samuel Parker. 



Four days ot wandering through the Bad 
Lands ot Dakota had been so fruitful in the 
discovering of tossil remains, etc., imbedded 
among the hills, that I had decided to remain 
at least a fortnight. My camp supply of food 
having become almost exhausted, Felix, my 
half-breed guide, had started with the ponies 
and wagon for the post, distant about thirty 
miles, for the purpose of obtaining supplies for 
our larder. The distance, and the rough con- 
dition of the wagon trail rendered it impossible 
tor him to return to camp until noon the follow- 
ing day. Shortly after his departure in the 
morning, with a few biscuits in my pouch and 
a small flask of water, I set out on one of my ac- 
customed rambles. It was one of those calm, 
delightful days which characterize this wild 
latitude in autumn. The silent hills, reposing 
about me in weird and lonely grandeur, with 
their sleeping outlines almost invisible through 
the dense blue haze of Indian Summer, resem- 
bled the hills of some ghostly land. 

Over this desolatCregion, which was known 
by the early French Canadian voyageurs as La 
Mauvaise Terre (the Bad Lands) there broods 
an eternal silence, as deep and awful as that 
which reigned over the primeval chaos, ere 
animated nature became vocal under the smile 
of God. The fantastic mounds, rock-strewn, 
and the beetling crags, deluged with the rains 
of centuries, are voiceless memorials, marking 
an epoch in the world's history when the 
entire locality was submerged by the billows 
of a vast inland sea. 

Clasped within the embrace of the massive 
upheavals of chalk and limestone are the en- 
tombed remains of birds, reptiles and animals 
of the pre-historic age — a period so dim and 
shadowy, and so remote withal, that its very 
contemplation is appalling to our finite minds. 

Before leaving camp in the morning I re- 
solved to devote the entire day to my researches, 
and my route had taken me into a locality 
more strikingly savage and magnificent in 
scenic grandeur than any which I had hitherto 
explored. The rugged summits of the precipi- 



tous cliffs, rising to a height of from two to 
three hundred feet, with their craggy outlines 
silhouetted against the sky, assumed a weird 
variety of monumental forms. Posing dreamily 
on their lofty pedestals, and vaguely defined 
through the smoky haze, were Indian warriors 
seated calmly on their horses ; Mohammedan 
mosques with their slender minarets ; gigantic 
dragons harnessed to Roman chariots ; huge 
couchant animals with sphinx-like features, con- 
spicuous among which was the colossal canine 
figure known to scientific explorers in these 
wilds as " the watch-dog ot the Bad Lands." 

In the midst of scenery so spectral and 
uncanny my sensations were eerie in the ex- 
treme. An undercurrent of dread, a strange 
haunting presentiment of some impending ca- 
lamity, seemed to possess me, which the tomb- 
like quiet of the place served but to intensify. 

Hitherto in my rambles I had been accompa- 
nied by my guide, whose voluble flow of broken 
French, interspersed with an occasional song, 
had given me no opportunity of noting the 
dreadful silence that reigns over the Bad Lands. 

A man lost amid these deathlike solitudes 
soon becomes frenzied with a terror so wild 
and despairing that he breaks down, sobs 
and cries like a hysterical child. The profound 
and ominous silence, and the deplorable deso- 
lation of his surroundings, inspire him with a 
dread that is absolutely appalling. Does he 
shout, a hundred jeering and derisive echoes 
respond to his piteous appeal from their am- 
bush among the lonely rocks. Crazed with the 
delirium ot thirst, after hours of erratic wan- 
derings through the parched alkaline air, may- 
hap he emerges from the hills to the long, level 
sweep of plains beyond. Then, perchance, 
there bursts upon his eager sight a vision that 
sends a thrill of gladness through his every 
vein. A mile away, and wavering and shim- 
mering through the tremulous air, is the waters 
of a delightful lake, the cool, refreshing billows 
of which are heaving peacefully in the fervid 
glare of the noonday sun. 

But the fabled music of the sirens that de- 



NATURES REALM. 



•coyed the sailors to their doom was no more 
deceitful than this island-dotted lake, which 
the deluded wanderer, with staggering foot- 
steps, is vainly striving to approach. The grove- 
encircled lake with its wave-kissed ledges and 
its delicious tree-shadowed islands, is the mock- 
ing mirage — that elusive phantom which floats 
spectre-like over the desert plains as does the 
shadow of a drifting cloud. 

Long before the evening shadows have length- 
ened across the thankless plains the tempting 
vision of water, islands and rocky ledges, like a 
will-o'-the-wisp of the swamps, has faded 
silently trom view, leaving the unhappy victim 
to sink exhausted and dying upon the desert, a 
feast for the wolves and vultures. 

The farewell kisses of the setting sun were 
suffusing the brows of the purple hills with 
deep vermilion blushes, and the ravens were 
returning to their haunts of repose among the 
sheltering ledges, when I abandoned my relic- 
hunting for the day and set out on my return 
trip to camp. 

After proceeding for a mile or so along the 
dry bed of a torrent the trail suddenly diverged 
to the right and entered a canon, the steep, 
perpendicular walls of which the long-contin- 
ued erosion of the elements had transformed 
into a strange resemblance to the ruins of an 
ancient city. Indeed, so perfect was the archi- 
tectural resemblance of what appeared to be 
a stately cathedral, that, had the solemn chant 
of the te deutn floated from the ruined doorway, 
or the soft, exalted sound of a bell from the 
crumbling tower been wafted to my ears, the 
illusion would have been complete. 

Whilst hastening along through the fast fad- 
ing twilight my ears were occasionally saluted 
with the dismal and satanic howl of a solitary 
woll, just emerged from its lair in some gloomy 
cafion, and hailing the approaching advent of 
the congenial darkness with yells of melan- 
choly rapture. These lonely domains are in- 
fested with many species of wild beasts, which 
begin their prowlings at nightfall, and it was 
when I espied a dark object cross the trail a 
short distance beyond me and disappear in the 
dusky gloom, that I began to reflect upon the 
danger of being thus alone at night in the Bad 
Lands ; for, with the exception of my hunting 



knife, which I carried in my belt, my weapons 
consisted of nothing but a light fowling piece 
belonging to my guide, and in a possible en- 
counter with a bear or mountain lion my 
attempts at defense could only have resulted in 
disaster. However, I soon arrived safely at 
camp, and, replenishing the yet smouldering 
fire with an armful of sage shrubs, I prepared 
my supper of coffee, biscuits and a portion of 
grouse left over from my noonday meal. 

At the conclusion of my lonely repast, while 
arranging the cooking utensils on a low, flat 
rock, over which Felix, previous to his depar- 
ture, had spread a blanket and disposed thereon 
such articles belonging to our camp parapher- 
nalia not required on his journey, I perceived 
that he had also left behind his violin — an in- 
strument, by the way, which he touched so 
abominably thai, in order to avoid distraction, 
I had thus far bribed him liberally to refrain 
from vexing my ears with any of his discord- 
ant melodies. 

Being somewhat fatigued after my day's 
tramp, I placed a fresh supply of sticks on my 
fire, and, having arranged my couch of buffalo 
robes and blankets, I turned in for the night. 

The moon was appearing above the horizon, 
and its lambent glare invested the wild pano- 
rama of surrounding hills with an imposing 
and supernatural glory, and, to further enhance 
the sense of loneliness and isolation which all 
day long had haunted me like an incubus, one 
of those sudden breezes peculiar to the country 
had now risen and was sweeping disconsolately 
through the caverned ledges, grieving and la- 
menting like a banshee. 

From the hour when I retired until far into 
the night my slumbers were uneasy and fitful. 
I was somehow oppressed with an unaccount- 
able apprehension that I was not alone in my 
solitary camp in the Bad Lands — that some- 
where amid the hovering shadows there lurked 
a presence, but whether human or fiend I was 
unable to comprehend. Years of experience 
by lonely camp-fires ir. the wilderness had ren- 
dered my hearing faculties so acute that even 
the stealthy tread of a moccasined Indian would 
scarcely have escaped detection. 

However, in my waking moments the brood- 
ing wilderness' hush was broken only by the 



H 



NATURES REALM. 



baneful howling of the wolves and the voice of 
the night wind, the hysterical raving of which 
was degenerating into weird and gasping whis- 
pers. 

About midnight I was aroused from a tran- 
sient doze by what appeared to be the twang- 
ing intonations with which the players on 
stringed instruments usually prelude their per- 
formances. Glancing in the direction from 
whence the sounds proceeded, I was amazed at 
beholding a skeleton seated on the rock con- 
taining our camp fixtures and holding in its 
bony hands the violin before mentioned, which 
the ghostly visitor was apparently in the act of 
tuning. Holding the violin in an upright posi- 
tion on its knee the grizzly phantom executed 
the various manipulations necessary to bring 
the instrument into proper condition with such 
a remarkable fidelity to life as rendered me 
spellbound with astonishment and terror. 

From its position on the rock the face ol the 
skeleton was turned directly toward me, and in 
the wan and pallid glare of the moonlight 
the rows of grinning teeth and the wild and 
vacant stare from the cavernous eye-sockets 
presented a spectacle so full of horror that, 
unable longer to endure the frightful presence, 
I resolved upon its immediate annihilation. 
Seizing the gun which I had placed by my side 
on retiring, I discharged the contents of both 
barrels into the body ot the hideous intruder, 
fully expecting to behold the creature's anat- 
omy fall into a herp ot disjointed fragments 
upon the rock. But as well might my artillery 
have been directed against the moon. My first 
glance of fearful apprehension when the smoke 
had cleared sufficiently, revealed the skeleton 
seated composedly in its original position, and 
with the air of a practiced connoisseur in the 
line of harmony, completing the process of put- 
ting the chords of the violin into playing con- 
dition — a task which appeared to be well-nigh 
accomplished. Trembling with agitation I 
raised my fire-arm for another shot, but reflect- 
ing on the futility of any attempt to bag a crea- 
ture ot so immaterial a structure, and through 
the chinks of whose framework the background 
of stars was visible, I lowered the weapon, and, 
cowering back among the blankets, endeavored 
to persuade myself that the ghastly memorial 



of mortality seated on the rock was a mere 
phantasm — an optical illusion engendered by 
a disturbed imagination. 

My ingenious theory, however, was promptly 
dispelled, for at this juncture I perceived that 
the ghostly minstrel was about to play. More- 
over, it required but the first few preliminary 
strains which were evoked from the soul of the 
instrument with a long-drawn and resonant 
sweetness, to persuade me that a master hand 
had touched the strings. 

The first production was of the nature ot 
hornpipe, in the performance of which the skel- 
eton bent itself with such terrific energy that 
both heaven and earth seemed to reel in ec- 
static accompaniment. Variation succeeded 
variation, with a rapture so exquisite and thrill- 
ing that the element of horror which had perva- 
ded every fibre of my being at the outset 
converted into wonder and admiration. 

To this superb introductory effort I 
minded to demand an encore, but ere the last 
note of the extraordinary rhapsody had been 
sounded, the spectre, as it for the purpose of 
demonstrating the versatility of its power 5 
drifted at once into a cadence as thrillingly 
soft and wailing as a Moravian dirge. A 
pathos as yearning and impassioned as the la- 
n.entations of Andromache at the tomb of Hec- 
tor quavered and mourned on the complaining 
chords and burdened the midnight solitudes 
around with all the ecstacy of woe. 

Strange as it may appear, I now reproached 
myself for the hostile reception that I had 
accorded this accomplished phantom which 
was so graciouslv enlivening- the dreariness of 
my camp with soul-inspiring melody. Although 
the previous experiments with my fowling-piece 
had given ample proof of the spectre's insensi- 
bility to external surroundings, I nevertheless 
resolved to henceforth observe the utmost cir- 
cumspection regarding my movements, lest 
some unseemly demonstration should tend to 
hasten the departure ot the gentle wanderer, 
thereby depriving me of such a feast of har- 
mony as mortal ears are rarely permitted to 
enjoy. But unfortunately, during a temporary 
suspension of the music and while disposing a 
portion of my blankets in such a manner as 
admit of a more comfortable posture, an e . 



NATURE'S REALM. 



occurred that threatened to precipitate the 
very catastrophe which I was so anxious to 
avert. For I had barely ceased congratulating 
myself on having performed the task so guard- 
edly, when my ears were assailed by the spite- 
ful and nerve-paraly/ing rasp of an angry rat- 
tlesnake, which the skeleton's plaintive music 
had enticed from its den among the rocks, and 
which, doubtless surmising that the concert 
ended, was in the act ot retiring, but, rind- 
ing its progress opposed by my extended form, 
had suddenly thrown itself into coil and sounded 
that peculiar blast of warning which precedes 
the deadly stroke. The imminent peril that 
menaced me demanded immediate action, and 
mice more the loud report of my gun startled 
the silent wilderness into a multitude of crash- 
ing echoes, the weapon's entire charge passing 
through the convoluted tolds of the loathsome 
reptile and reducing it to a mutilated mass of 
writhing fragments. At the close of this tran- 
sient reign of confusion, however, I observed 
that the skeleton's equilibrium was still un- 
ruffled. Indeed, a furious break-down, which 
had doubtless been started at the height of the 
uproar occasioned by the dispatching of the 
serpent, had just concluded, with a flourish 
worthy of a Hull or Paganini, and the exacting 
nicety of the preluding during the brief respite 
that followed betokened the forthcoming of a 
more elaborate effort. 

I now perceived for the first time that the 
apparition had discovered and likewise appro- 
priated my e'ye-glasses, which, adjusted before 
the unsightly port-holes in its skull, tended lit- 
tle to either soften its cadaverous physiognomy 
or to impart an air of becoming dignity to the 
wearer. 

Hut the demonstrations of mirth to which I 
was about giving way at the skeleton's unique 
appearance were restrained, for, the music be- 
ing again resumed, the pleasant midnight air 
pulsing with the melancholy grandeur of 
Heethcven's moonlight sonata. The burden of 
this incomparable me!ody was so love-lorn and 
despairing, so appealingly tender and heart- 
breaking in its emotional sweetness and soft- 
ness, that a deep, delicious swoon of rapture 
overcame me ; my senses floated away into 
dreamland and I heard no more. 



So potent, indeed, had been the spcli thrown 
over me by the spectral serenade, that when I 
awoke late the following morning my spirits 
were yet drowsed with a dreamy nting 

sensation of exquisite languor. The singular 
and ethereal sublimity of the music discoursed 
by the skeleton had transported me in fancy to 
a realm so exalted that, to the peculiar desola- 
tion of my actual environments. I reconciled 
myself with the most profound regret. 

My scientific researches in the Bad Lands 
had thus tar been exceedingly prolix Among 
a variety of reptilean specimens I had exhumed 
a monster turtle, which had doubtless llourished 
and finally passed into its everlasting sleep 
ages before the green bowers of Eden were 
awakened with the morning hymn of Adam. 

The sun had well nigh reached the meridian 
when my guide put in appearance, bringing a 
goodly supply of provender for ourselves and 
ponies. The latter being somewhat jaded, the 
poor beasts, after devouring their allowance of 
grain, were tethered in a little glade near our 
camp where the grass was most abundant. 

While partaking of our midday meal I pro- 
ceeded to regale my guide with an account of 
the skeleton visitor at our camp at the solemn 
hour of midnight. Hut before the recital was 
ended J perceived that I had fallen into an 
error suftuiently serious to preclude the possi- 
bility of prolonging my stay another night in 
the Bad Lands. To my intense vexation I dis- 
covered that my story of the phantom had en- 
kindied all the superstition n his semi-Indian 
nature, for, in common with his savage an< es- 
tors, he had inherited the belief that the lonely 
fastnesses of the Bad Lands were the abode of 
all the demons known to their mythoit 
Hastily concluding his repast he announced his 
intention to decamp, avowing in his unheard-ot 
trepidation that if we remained the Wakan-we- 
Chash-e the Sioux tor 'Spirit Man" would 
surely reappear at midnight with a ghostly 
band of followers, and, after charming us into a 
state of helpless insensibility with his dangt 
ous music, put us both to death by tortures fear- 
ful to imagine. 

Threats, bribes and expostulations were alike 
in vain. The conveyance and camp equip 
ments being his own exclusive property, I was 



16 



NATURE'S REALM. 



compelled to yield to his foolish whim, and, 
mentally cursing my stupid inadvertence in 
alluding to the affair of the skeleton, I reluc- 
tantly mounted the seat beside my thoroughly 
frightened companion and started on my re- 
turn to the post. 

Among my most treasured relics is the vio- 



lin, which my guide in his timid superstition 
refused to approach or touch, and which I car- 
ried away concealed in my blankets. But never 
in my happiest efforts does its responsive 
strings give forth such melting harmony as that 
evoked by the skeleton at my solitary camp in 
the Bad Lands. 



THE FARMER'S BOY. 

By A. F. Rice. 



The poetry of larming exists chiefly in the 
mind of him who looks on, rather than in the 
toil itselt. There is poetry in the summer 
scene where the clean-shaven meadow is thickly 
studded with green cones ot hay and the ox- 
wagon creaks under the weight of its fragrant 
load ; but it is prose of the baldest sort to the 
perspiring farmer who is straining every mus- 
cle to get in his crop before the shower comes 
up over the hill. It is the dollars in the hay, 
and not its fragrance, that he is thinking 
about ; nor is it any discredit to his common 
sense that he should be more occupied with 
the money value involved than with the pic- 
turesqueness of the situation. We must not 
expect a poem on the golden rod from the man 
who spends hours of hard work in attempting 
to exterminate it ; nor can we look for from him 
any expression of admiration for the daisy 
when its presence in his grass means pecu- 
niary loss. To him the shrill cry of the hen 
hawk conveys but one message, and that is 
that his chickens are in danger. The half- 
articulated guttural of the young crow is 
merely a reminder of the corn-pulling and 
thieving propensities of that bird. The stac- 
cato whistle of the woodchuck has no charms 
for him, for it is a promise that his young ap- 
ple trees shall be gnawed and a threat that his 
clover shall be trodden down to make paths 
tor this lumbering freebooter to travel home 
in. He loves the cuckoo only in times of 
drouth, and sees beauty in the rainbow only 
when his parched fields have quenched their 
thirst. His love for the robins even can never 
be unqualified, for do they not peck at his 
cherries and steal his early peas ? The wav- 
ing of the ripening grain and the rustle of the 



corn would be pleasanter to see and sweeter 
to hear were it not for his apprehension that 
the rust would get into his wheat or early- 
frosts cut short his crop. 

Of course the farmer's boy suffers, more or 
less, from these untoward circumstances, and 
comes in for his share of the tabulation. The 
very elements seem to conspire against him 
and make his labors more arduous and exact- 
ing. If he has the instincts ot a naturalist he 
will, it is true, see and learn much while at his 
work ; how the blind mole ploughs his under- 
ground passage and the toad lives tor years 
shut up in his hard-pan cell ; how the oriole 
builds her nest and rears her young ; how the 
hawk, the adder and the weasel take their 
prey ; how the wasps fashion their papyrus 
houses ; how the ants toil and wage war, and 
how the butterflies are ushered into the world. 
But he is kept too hard a't work to find much 
opportunity for indulging his tastes or carrying 
his observations where his fancy would lead 
him.'' The summer woods stand cool and in- 
viting by the side of the field where he is hoe- 
ing corn, but the rail fence between them and 
him is a Chinese wall which he may not pass. 
The partridge drums in the thicket and the 
yellow-hammer sounds his reveille on the dry 
limb, but he may not shoulder arms and obey 
the call ; he has been condemned to penal 
servitude, and his time is not out yet. Within 
his hearing the meadow brook goes on its 
gurgling way, and no one knows better than 
he where the trout are cooling their speckled 
sides ; but he is chained to the plough, and, 
like Tantalus, cannot taste the pleasures that 
go singing by him. I remember of seeing a fair 
example ot this, one bright June day. In 



NATURE'S REALM. 



•7 



crossing over the hills from one trout stream to 
another I Came upon a small and forlorn-look- 
ing boy hoeing potatoes in an immense field, 
where the stones lay thick, and loose earth for 
" hilling up" was scarce. The utter hopeless- 
ness ot his ever completing his task, and the 
impression o( loneliness that it gave me to see 
that little fellow working away by himself, I 
shall not soon forget. He told me he was 
"bound out" to a farmer until he should be 
twenty years old, and then he was to have 
" his time and a new suit of clothes." What a 
patrimony to start life with ! I asked him it he 
was net lonesome out there, with no one to talk 
to. " Yes, some, ' he said, " but I've got Gyp 
with me." And, in response to his whistle, a 
lean little dog ran out to him from the edge of 
the woods. Even the dog could not stand that 
potato field, and had taken refuge elsewhere. 
He was proud of his canine comrade, and put 
him through a course of tricks for my benefit. 
I felt better to think he had even this much 
comfort and society, and thought ot that ap- 
propriate line, "His taithful dog shall bear him 
company." If attempting to hoe ten-acre lots 
single-handed did not kill him, he has had 
given him, long ere now, his time and a new 
suit of clothes. Judging from what I saw, he 
must have sorely needed both. 

There are certain items of farm work which, 
on account of being light and easy employment 
and well suited to their years, are usually im- 
posed upon the boys ; such as turning the 



grindstone and mowing away hay. The pro- 
priety of this distribution of the work will be rec- 
ognized by those holding among their reminis- 
cences certain hours spent at the grindstone on 
hot July days, while an able-bodied man was 
bearing down his scythe with all his weight 
upon it ; or those other hours of recreation un- 
der the high beams of the barn, when, choking 
with dust and with the perspiration running 
into his eyes, the small boy, on an unstable 
and slippery footing, was expected to drag 
away the hay and tread it down as fast as the 
strongest man on the farm could pitch it up to 
him. 

It is perhaps true, then, that the old farm is 
not in all respects a Eutopia, and that the lite 
of the farmer's boy is not altogether a blissful 
one ; and yet who that has spent the days ot 
his boyhood thus would wish them blotted out 
or give up the sweet knowledge he then ac- 
quired, even though it was perhaps distilled 
from bitter fruit ? The shady lane along which 
he drove the cows to pasture ; the orchard 
where the birds and bees held their summer 
carnival ; the meadow where the bobolink tin- 
kled and the air was saturated with the fra- 
grance of the clover — these and a hundred 
other familiar scenes which were a part of the 
farmer boy's life come back to him in a flood 
of delightful recollections and make him ready 
and willing to believe that 

"God made the country, man made thi town 



A COVEY OF PARTRIDGES KILLED BY LIGHTMXC. 



During the month of June a covey of part- 
ridges, two adult and fifteen young ones, were 
found dead on an estate in Southern Prussia. 
The whole covey lay within a space of a square 
metre, with the heads together. As eight days 
elapsed before the proprietor of the estate re- 
ceived news of the discovery, the birds were 
already too far gone to discover the reason for 
their death by examination of their bodies. 
Poison was suspected at first — the spot was 



close to some peasants' allotments — and the 
place was carefully examined. In due course 
it was discovered that the whole covey must 
have been struck by lightning* One could 
plainly see where the flash had struck a little 
mound and from thence proceeded along the 
-round. The grass surrounding the spot where 
the partridges lay had a yellow and burnt ap- 
pearance. 



THE PARADISE FISH AND ITS BREEDING HABITS. 



By Hit.1 

The paradise fish, like the German canary, 
is a product of cultivation, as there is no place 
known where it is found in a wild state. It is 
a native of China. There they are cultivated 
and kept in aquaria as ornamental fish only. 
The male is the larger of the two sexes, meas- 
uring, when full grown, from the mouth to the 
end of the caudal fin, three and a half inches. 
The body is shaped very much like that of the 
pumpkin seed sunfish. Its colors surpass in 
brilliancy any fish heretofore cultivated for the 
aquarium. The head is ashy gray, mottled 
with irregu- 
1 a r dark 
spots. The 
gills are 
azurineblue 
bordered 
with bril- 
liant crim- 
son. The 
eyes are yel- 
low and red, 
with a black 
pupil. The 
sides of the 
body and 
the cres- 
cent-shaped 
caudal fin 
are deep 
crimson ; 
the former 
having ten 

or twelve vertical blue stripes, while the latter 
is bordered with blue. The under surface of 
the body is continually changing color — some- 
times it is white, at others gray or black. The 
dorsal and anal fins are remarkably large, 
hence the generic name of the fish — macro, 
large ; podus, the food or fin. Both fins are 
shaped alike. They are striped and dotted 
with brown and bordered with blue. The 
dull-colored ventral fins are protected by a 
brilliant scarlet-colored spine, extending three- 
fourths of an inch behind the fins. The pec- 




MULERTT. 

torals, situated directly above the ventral fins, 
are well shaped, but, being transparent, show 
no color. All these colors above described are 
most brilliant when the fish is excited. For 
instance, when engaged in combat for the pos- 
session of a female fish, or when courting, he 
shows the most brilliant colors, in order to at- 
tract the attention of his lady-love, she being 
especially fond of bright colors. 

On such occasions he expands all of his fins 
to their greatest extent. The caudal fin ap- 
pears then to be covered with little pearls, 

like the eyes 
on a pea- 
cock's tail, 
and the un- 
der surface 
of the fish 
becomes jet 
black. The 
color of the 
dorsal fin 
changes 
constant- 
ly from bril- 
liant green 
to indigo 
blue, n o w 
and then 
showing 
white spots, 
and, while 
the body is 
in tremu- 
lous motion, radiating colors of every conceiv- 
able hue. The female is smaller and not quite 
so brilliantly colored. 

The entire body of the paradise fish, from 
the mouth to the beginning of the caudal fin, 
is covered with small round scales. 

Their mode of living, when compared to 
American fishes, resembles that of the little 
dogfish, and the rainbow-darter. Like the for- 
mer, they come to th«^ surface of the water for 
atmospheric air, and, owing to this faculty, will 
live and thrive in a remarkably small quantity 



NATURES REALM. 



r 9 



of water. They are also fully as inquisitive as 
the dogfish, and like to stay near the glass side 
of the aquarium and observe what is going on 
outside of the water. Like the rainbow darter, 
they are fond of resting on rocks or on the 
branches of water plants. In fact, I have fre- 
quently seen them lie down as a person would 
on a lounge, their head upright and their body 
resting sideways on the bottom. They are 
graceful swimmers and peaceable, agreeing 
well with other fishes. Their food is the same 
as that used for goldfish, but it should be given 
to them oftener. Being tropical fish, they are 
rather sensitive to cold, and the water in which 
they are kept should never be below 55 : F., 
while 70 ' tooo : is their favorite temperature. 
I am the first who imported this interesting fish 
to this country, and, having succeeded Jn breed- 
ing them, am enabled to add to the above de- 
scription of the fish their mode of reproduction, 
The paradise fish is a nest builder to a cer- 
tain extent. Its nest is not as complicated as 
that of the stickleback, nevertheless it is a re- 
ceptacle on which it places the eggs to be 
hatched. As soon as the warm weather ap- 
proaches the males commence fighting with 
each other for the possession of the females. 
The victor leads off his female to a suitable 
corner in the aquarium, and here their family 
life begins. The nest is constructed by the 
male. In building it he takes a position about 
an inch below the surface of the water, and fre- 
quently takes air into his mouth, which he 
ejects in the shape of little bubbles. These 
bubbles seem to be covered with some viscid 
substance, which makes them last for several 
hours. He keeps this up until a little floating 
island is formed of about six inches in circum- 
ference and one-fourth of an inch in thickness. 
When the nest has reached the sufficient size 
the female approaches and swims around him 
several times until he notices her. He follows 
her now around in a circle, immediately under 
the bubble island, and all at once, with a very 
graceful motion, he seizes her by folding his 
entire body and fins around her, at the same 
time turning himself with her over in the middle 
of the water, so that the ventral parts point 
toward the nest. Now he presses against her 
and causes the eggs to flow, which, in passing 



him, become fertilized and rise to the surface* 
This act being over, the male's attention is oc- 
cupied by gathering the eggs with his mouth 
and placing them on top of the bubble island. 
Should one accidently fall to the bottom, he 
carries it up again immediately. When all the 
e &» s ;tre cared for the female makes her ap- 
pearance again, and repeats the operation until 
about a hundred eggs are laid. The eggs are 
of the size of a period used in ordinary type, 
and of creamy-yellow color. Thirty-six hours 
after the eggs are laid the young fish make 
their appearance. They are very small and 
have the shape of tadpoles. The father takes 
especial care of them, keeps them together and 
wards off enemies. One even attempted to at- 
tack my hand when on the side of the aquarium, 
looking upon it as an enemy coming to devour 
his little ones. During the first three days his 
object seems to be to keep his young near the 
surface, where they have abundance of air and 
where he can see them all ; after that he scat- 
ters them by blowing among them. He is now 
seen very busy everywhere in the tank, and 
often gathers some weak ones with his mouth 
and spits them to the surface. This may be to 
instruct them how to breathe. 

As the young increase in size his duty is to 
teach them how to find their food. For that 
purpose he takes a mouthful of youngones from 
a thickly-settled place and carries them to an 
unfrequented spot where food is more likely to 
be found. In short, he has a system about 
raising a crop of children. During all this 
time the female is kept in a far-off corner. He 
does not allow her to go near the nest, although 
I have never seen a female injure any of the 
young, which were sometimes close around 
her, some even nibbling at her mouth. When 
the young are ten or twelve days old they have 
the shape of the old ones and can support them- 
selves. They are then one-sixteeth of an inch 
in length. At this period the male builds a new 
nest and a new crop of young ones is raised ; 
this is followed by a third and fourth, until the 
approach of cold weather puts a stop to it. 
Under favorable circumstances the paradise 
fish will attain their full growth at the age of 
one year, but five years seems to be the limit 
of their life. 



THE FLIGHT OF THE MOOSE-BIRD. 



By Fkeuekic Howard. 



Not more than three feet from the desk at 
which I write stands the inanimate form of one 
of the best companions I ever had during a trip 
in the Maine woods. He is a biped, but a 
feathered one; a rather plain dun and gray bird 
of no special attraction of plumage or voice. 
He belongs to the family of jays, and is the 
most respectable of that garrulous class of 
birds, and holds the dignity of the order in his 
keeping. He is the Canada jay of ornitho- 
logical nomenclature, but I love the name ot 
"moose bird," given him by the Indians from 
his habit of alighting on the backs of the moose 



yond the house a flirt of wings caused me to- 
look up. There, sitting on a stake, was .my 
friend of the morning, readily identified by a 
white feather on his left wing covert, and eying 
the stage as an epicure would a feast. I 
was now greatly interested in my new friend, 
and, in a burst of enthusiasm, confided to the 
stage driver how the bird had followed us. 
The veteran Horace did not enthuse with sen- 
timent at all. " Sho ! them moose birds'll 
chase a camping party for a week," was the 
manner of speech in which he dashed water on 
my hopes for a special friendship existing be- 



and picking out the ticks that infest the skins of tween us. 



those animals, a feat which I never saw him 
perform, but, to judge from other actions, 
should deem him quite capable of successfully 
accomplishing. 

My first acquaintance with this particular 
individual was one day in September, when the 
stage that was transporting me from Kingfield 
up to the noted wilds of Franklin County had 
halted at one of the springs that are so frequent 
along the Eustis highway. 

We had left the willing horses to stand while 
we quenched our thirst, and I, returning in 
advance of my friends, found the subject of our 
sketch perched on the "off" hind wheel, bal- 
ancing himself with some difficulty as he 
peered in all directions in search for stray 
crumbs from our lunch. That he had evidently 
gormandized himself from an opened tin of 
canned corned beef could be seen by the air ot 
indifference with which he regarded my ap- 
pearance. As the Frenchman said, " I have 
dined," and nothing could disturb the equanim- 
ity ot a full stomach. 

The more noisy return oi my companions 
caused him to discreetly remove himself to the 
cover of a spruce that grew by the roadside, 
and I supposed that we had parted forever. 

Two hours later we were enjoying the hos- 
pitality of Mrs. Hines, well known to every 
Dead River tourist, and, while the horses were 
being changed after dinner, I strolled out to 
enjoy a cigar. As I passed the rail fence be- 



When we reached the end of our ride at 
Smith's and left the stage, Mr. Jay was again 
seen. He was now obliged to choose between 
his two loves, the stage or its contents, and the 
top of a lofty spruce was the elevated forum 
from which he viewed our actions and decided 
his choice. As we removed our duffle and 
swung it over our backs, and struck out on our 
six-mile walk to the lake, he disappeared in the 
same direction. Nothing more was seen of him 
until we reached the camps at Tim, and then 
he was in company with others. He had 
picked up a few friends as he came through the 
woods and put them "on to his snap," a con- 
dition of affairs they were ready to accept. 

It is impossible to transcribe all of the inci- 
dents with which he was associated. It might 
not interest the reader, but there are some 
things that stand out in his career too good to 
let go unrecorded. 

We were fishing one afternoon on Tim. 
The trout did not rise well, and we concluded 
to try bait. Sneer not, my angling friend. We 
needed fish up at the camps, and therefore 
were justified. The box of worms "fur bait" 
that we had brought into the woods at consid- 
erable trouble, a fact which we now congratu- 
lated ourselves upon, was opened and placed 
in the bow of our light boat after we had filled 
our belt boxes. We dropped the hooks to the 
cool depths to lure the big fellows, and were 
so successful that we were obliged to renew 



NATURES REALM. 



21 



our tin lures. I turned to reach for a fresh 
supply at the bow, but found my claim was 
preempted. My moose bird had found the 
contents of the large box was to his liking, and 
he was gorging himself with the worms we had 
so carefully brought from the settlement. A 
couple of kindred spirits were watching him 
with approval from the alders along the old 
beaver dam, and doubtless envied him his 
nerve to secure a supper. Our bait was too 
scarce an article to allow him to continue his 
repast, and he was admonished to depart. His 
familiarity cost him his life, for one bright 
morning, as he was hopping along the trunk 
of a prostrate spruce in the camp clearing, a 
sportsman ": just in from Boston shot him with 
a Winchester, and, to prove his deed of valor, 
suspended his body from the doorway of his 
cabin, from which place he was surreptitiously 
removed by loving hands, which, though not 
having the power of life to give, yet preserved 
his outline of form as a remembrance, sacred 
to one only, yet appreciated by those to whom 
Nature speaks in her varied language. 

I have had other but more brief experiences 
with this interesting bird of the north woods. 
He is a nomad. He claims no Darticular lo- 
cality, save the great evergreen forests, as his 
home. The impulse of migration is evidently 
an unknown experience to him. You camp 
down for the night and he quietly greets you, 
spending the night near by, that he may lose 
no time in gleaning over the remains of your 
breakfast. He is immediately interested in 
your preparations for departure, and, if he can 
spare the time from his search for a breakfast, 
will come down to the canoe to see you off, as 
well as to get an idea of the way you are head- 
ing, and, when you are greeted at your next 
camping place in a similar manner, you are at 
a loss as to whether it is the social individual 
of the previous night or a counterpart. 

The woods of Maine, dear to me by pleasant 
associations, would lose half their charm to me 
without this bird. He is in keeping with the 



sombre shadow of the spruce and hemlock. 
Persistent in his presence as the giant tree that 
rears its lofty form above your "shake down," 
yet as unobstrusive as its shadow, so closelv 
does he harmonize with the spirit of the silent 
wilderness. 

It is not lost time for the deer hunter to make 
his acquaintance, as my experience has shown. 
Once, when at Xorris bog, in the Penobscot 
wilderness, with two companions and a couple 
of guides from Greenville, we set out for cari- 
bou on the bog, each of my companions with a 
guide, leaving me to my own resources. I sat 
down on an old log at the edge of the bog and 
philosophically watched and waited. It was a 
dreary, damp day. No life was visible, save 
now and then the rapping of a woodpecker on 
some dead spruce and a hawk that was flying 
in circles high up over the marsh. Then a 
moose bird came to the edge of the forest and 
started to fly across the bog. About 300 yards 
distant was a small, thick clump of hackma- 
tack, and, when over it, Mr. Jay plumped into 
its very midst. He was greatly excited about 
something, dodging and peering about on all 
sides, or flying in circles with that peculiar 
quavering flight. Thinking that an owl might 
be hid in the cover, I cautiously advanced to 
secure the specimen, but judge of my surprise 
when, within fifty yards, a good-sized buck 
broke cover and started across the bog. Good 
luck was in my hasty shot, for his antlers now 
look down from the top of the rack in our front 
hall. The jay seemed about as exultant as 
myself, and did not leave the clump of hack- 
matack until the deer was packed on the backs 
of our guides and we started for camp. It 
might be justice to myself to state here that the 
spilling of the trout chowder that evening was 
not an entire accident on my part, for I could 
not with a certainty identify the moose bird 
that was hovering about the camp, but chose 
to give him the benefit of the doubt, and en- 
joyed seeing him feast on the result of my 
avowed carelessness. 



THE EAGLES OF LOCH AU ELEAN. 



By James 

In the southern part of Invernesshire, Scot- 
land, and within a few miles of the base of the 
Grampian range of mountains, there is a beau 
tiful little loch know in Gache by the name of 
Loch-au-Elean, the English equivalent of which 
is the " lake with the island." It is hemmed in 
on either side by hills covered from base to 
summit with the silver birch and spruce and 
fir. It looks at a distance like a mirror richly 
framed and the old ruined castle which rises 
abrupt!}' from the centre of the loch adds to 
the picturesqueness of the scene. Local his- 
torians have traced the castle back to the elev- 
enth century, but beyond this date they have 
been unable to penetrate. About the sixteenth 
or seventeenth century it was used by the wolf 
of Badenoch as a refuge from his enemies. 
For the last ninety years its only tenants have 
been a couple of eagles for two or three months 
in the year, numerous owls, rabbits and. rats. 

The eagles have hatched and reared their 
young on a turret of the castle without a single 
break for ninety years. The nest to-day weighs 
over three tons and is composed almost wholly 
of small sticks picked up in the neighboring 
forests. Every year additions are made to it, 
until now it stands out the most prominent fea- 
ture of the ruins. 

One of the grandest sights that one can wit- 
ness is this noble bird rising off its nest in the 
early spring morning and soaring away in su- 
preme dominion over the Grampian range with 
their snow-clad summits. Many futile attempts 
have been made to scare the eagles away from 
their favorite haunt and seize their young, but 
the proprietor of the ground has adopted every 
means available to protect them. 

I had ample opportunity of studying the hab- 
its ot these birds, having resided within a mile 
of the loch for over a decade. There is one in- 
cident in connection with the castle which im- 
pressed itself on my memory. Three years 



Cameron. 

ago I went home on a visit to my friends and 
was seized with an insatiable desire to get 
a look at the eaglets and the huge nest. 
There was the further inducement to pay the 
castle a visit that a score or two of rabbits had 
gone into it when the loch was covered with 
ice. There is no boat and the only accessible 
way was either to construct a raft or swim. I 
chose the latter mode, and in a very short time 
I was standing in the rude entrance to the cas- 
tle. I scrambled to the nest, but found that it 
was impossible to climb the pile of rubbish 
that had been accumulating for close on to a 
century, and I had to retrace my steps disap- 
pointed. All this time the female eagle kept 
hovering around, rising at times in spiral move- 
ments to great altitudes. The interior as well 
as the exterior of the ruins is covered with a 
tremendous network of ivy, and in one end 
willows and birch trees have taken root in the 
crevices. The ivy has been utilized as a place 
of shelter by numerous owls, and here many 
of them build their nests. I made a search 
and had not proceeded far when a barn 
owl fluttered noislessly out of a dark recess 
and made for a clump of trees nearly opposite 
the castle. Although the fluttering of its wings 
could hardly be heard, it did not get more than 
thirty yards from the castle when one of the 
eagles swooped down on it with tremendous 
force, killing it instantly. I swam toward the 
dead owl floating on the water and on examin- 
ing it found its wing broken and head reduced 
almost to pulp. 

There are several places in Scotland where 
the golden eagle and the osprey are found. 
Two years ago a golden eagle alighted in one 
of the lonely glens of Invernesshire. It was a 
rainy day and it could not rise again. A shep- 
herd threw his plaid over it and the bird was 
taken to Glasgow and lived a considerable time 
in a cage outside the museum. 



OUR NATIONAL FLOWKR. 

By Dk. Mokki» (Iibbs. 



1. field Bowers! The gardens eclipse you, 'tis true, 
Vet, wildings of Nature. I dote upon you. 

For ye waft me to summers of old, 
When the earth teemed around me with (airy delight, 
Ami when daisies and buttercups gladdened my sight, 

Like treasures of silver and gold. — Campbell. 

Arc we to have a national flower ? and, if so, 
who is to select it for us ? There has been 
much talk regarding a national flower, during 
the last few years, through the medium of the 
papers, and many suggestions have been ad- 
vanced by the friends of various favorites, but, 
fortunately, at the present time no selection 
has as yet been made. By some peculiar 
power supposed to be possessed by a self-se- 
lected few, who have consulted and agreed, we 
are almost forced to believe that we are already 
possessed of a national flower in the beautiful 
golden rod. Just who these persons are, self- 
authorized to make our selection, we are un- 
able to say, but, judging by their anxiety to 
hasten matters ere all have been heard, it is 
lair to infer that they must be endowed by Na- 
ture with discriminating powers of a remark- 
able degree. 

The shamrock, thistle and fleur-de-lis were 
known to all in the countries where they were 
selected as emblematic, but here in America 
there are many much better acquainted with 
foreign species than with the golden rod, and 
even many of our American-born citizens ol 
refinement do not know this arbitrarily-selected 
plant, even though it is of such general disper- 
sion. 

Without entering into a detailed account ol 
the suggestions offered as to our national 
flower, with a list of favorites suggested by 
various persons, we will venture our opinion 
why the golden rod should not be selected as 
an emblem. First, it is not universally known, 
and can only be cultivated with difficulty in 
many parts ; secondly, there are nearly or quite 
forty species in the Union, and generali/in. 
a very poor way indeed in a matter which is to 
remain of national importance; thirdly, we re- 
quire something typical, well-defined and 
strictly characteristic of America. 



In a careful review of all that can be tound 
on the subject of our national flower, the sug- 
gestion of Mr. Maurice Thompson, of Craw- 
fordsville, Ind., appears the most sensible ; he 
proposes the blossom of the white-wood, or, as 
it is commonly called in the South, tulip tree 
or poplar [Liriodindron tulipifera). Mr. 
Thompson has made an excellent selection, and 
one which should merit our consideration. 
The tulip tree is alone in its genus, and is em- 
phaticallv a tree of America, belonging to the 
magnolia family. It is well known to nearly 
all, while white-wood lumber forms a stapl 
article in the market, where it is much in de 
mand for many purposes. Often but impro- 
perly called sycamore, it is generally called 
tulip, in allusion to its flowers, which some- 
what resemble tulips in form. The flowers 
appear in late spring, and are of a yellowish 
color tinged with green and orange, and are 
very handsome but little known, as they are 
very seldom plucked, the tree being tall and 
rarely climbed. 

Aside from the fact that the golden rod is 
not considered suitable as a representative of 
our country, it is, however, a most pleasing 
flower, and we may well consider it in the 
glory of its autumn splendor. Gray's manual 
embraces thirty-seven species and varieties 
within our boundaries, in addition to which 
there are undoubtedly several forms yet to be 
described, while a few of the species may yet 
prove to be varieties. Embraced in the com- 
posite family the golden rod comes in what is 
known as the genus Solidago, a word from the 
Latin, meaning to make whole. The laugh- 
able thought at once occurs, when thinking ot 
this flower as our national selection, that the 
choice is not entirely inappropriate, when we 
consider that the United States is the univer- 
sally selected haven for quacks, and therefore 
it is a worthy standard for our rampant empir- 
icism, from its name. Although so named (a 
cure all) the genus is considered practically 
inert as regards medical properties. The 
pharmacopoeia ascribes various effects to Soli- 



24 



AATL'RE'S REALM. 



dago ; it says that golden rod is aromatic, 
moderately stimulant, and diaphoretic when 




The Golden Rod. 

given in warm infusions. The dried flowers 



and leaves are used as a pleasant and whole- 
some substitute for common tea. 

In Michigan there are to be found twenty- 
four distinct species of golden rod, of which 
canadensis is the most abundant ; after which 
come Solidago serotina, S. rugosa and S. ne- 
moralis. These species, like the others, have 
no distinctive common names, but are all 
called simply golden rod and must be distin- 
guished by the scientific names. To the large 
majority of ramblers and those who gather 
these flowers there are no points of difference 
in the various golden rods, all being simply 
handsome branches of yellow or golden blos- 
soms. It will be seen on even a most casual 
examination that there is a vast difference in 
the various golden rods, both as to formation 
of clusters of flowers, size and height of plants 
and actual coloration, while a vast difference 
will be discovered by the amateur botanist in 
the appointments of the single flowers, as well 
as in selection of quarters by the different 
kinds. One class of golden rods may be found 
growing in sandy soil, while another only 
grows around low mucky ground, and some 
species prefer very moist regions. 

It will be an advantage to my readers to 
here classify the various species, but for the 
benefit of amateurs it may be well to say that 
the blossom clusters are divided as follows : 
First, those having the heads clustered in the 
axils of the feather-veined leaves ; secondly, 
heads in racemes forming a terminal panicle, 
and third, heads much crowded in a terminal 
compound corymo. Most of our species I 
judge are embraced in the second division, in 
which occurs the canadensis, which has a 
rough, hairy stem, lanceolate and usually ser- 
rate pointed leaves rather downy beneath but 
rough above, and small heads with short rays. 
It is not so attractive or showy as many others. 
Nemoralis, another well-known species, is one 
of our smallest golden rods, growing to a 
height of one or two feet only. Found in dry, 
open ground, flowering soon after midsummer. 
The leaves spatulate-oblong or oblanceolate, 
One-sided dense racemes, numerous and at 
length recurving, and flowers bright golden 
yellow. Many species of golden rod are three 
to five feet high, and I have seen specimens 



NATURES REALM. 



^5 



fully six feet tall ; some are very pleasing to 
the eye, and, though all are coarse in forma- 
tion from the roots up to the flowers, they 
nearly all have grace in form, and with their 
crowning clusters of golden racemes and 
fringes they present a very agreeable appear- 
ance. 

The Solidago speciosa is a kind found on 
low ground generally, which has the reputation 
of being one of the latest to bloom in the genus ; 
I have observed it in all its glory as late as Oc- 
tober 10. 

The golden rod appears to prefer clearings, 
and, like most wild weeds, springs up where 
fires have played havoc with the vegetation, 
but many species prefer the low ground where 
the soil is watered by numerous springs. The 
plant does not seem to be changed in its selec- 
tion of agreeable sites for unfolding its autum- 
nal glory, by any effects produced in advancing 
civilization, for it is found flourishing in the 
same retreats where it was seen to annually 
blossom over a half century ago. Fifty-eight 
years ago my grandparents moved into this, 
Kalamazoo County, then a wilderness in the 



wilds of Michigan Territory. The season was 
autumn and the golden rod greeted the tired 
settlers with its handsome yellow flowers and 
courteous noddings in the gentle breezes. 

In those early days all. woolens were spun by 
hand, but the dye stuffs used for coloring had 
to be selected from the fields and forests, as 
there was not a drug store nearer than Detroit, 
nearly one hundred and fifty miles distant. The 
customs of the Indians were therefore often 
borrowed, and among them the practice of 
dyeing cloth with golden rod was adopted. 1 
am at present the owner of a checked blanket 
which has often accompanied me on my camp- 
ing trips, which was dyed with Solidago fifty- 
seven years ago, and it still holds its color well 
and is in daily use. A beautiful yellow will 
result from the mixture of a little alum with 
the blossoms for the dye. 

Though I do not advocate this plant as our 
national flower, I consider it one of our most 
pleasing flowers, and, with all sportsmen and 
lovers of nature, can honestly say, long live 
and wave the golden rod. 



THE CARMOLA GROTTO. 



A magnificent grotto has been discovered 
and opened to the public near the famous Cav- 
ern of Stalactites at Adelsberg, in Carniola. 
It is the largest and most magnificent hitherto 
known in Europe. A walk through it occupies 
rather more than two hours. It is snow-white 
in color, relieved only by portions of grayish 
hue, whereas at Adelsberg the prevalent shade 
is yellowish. The grotto opens with a deep 
ravine and a number of comparatively shallow 
caves, in which the stalactites take the form ot 
curtains, or widely spread wings, and the 
drops and stalagmites have the appearance of 
huge cactus plants, with beautiful white flitter- 
ing pendants. The next cave shows forms of 
various animals. Going further, the visitor- 
walks through a succession of lofty domes until 



the "ball room " is reached, three times as 
large as the corresponding " dancing room " at 
Adelsberg. The roof of the " ball room " seems 
to be adorned with hundreds of flags and 
streamers, each flag having its staff formed ot 
pendant tubes, around which the standards or 
banners are wound. The most remarkable 
cave has a vaulted roof; its farthest wall is 
formed by a snow-white rock of limestone, 
which divides the grotto from the mountain 
river Polk, which rushes behind it, and the two 
side walls are covered with indentations, mostly 
formed of single drops. There are enormous 
trees in the centre of the cave, some rising to a 
height of forty or fifty feet, each with numerous 
branches strewn with drops instead of leaves, 
in wonderful regularity of form. 



THE RHINOCEROS HORNBILL. 

A curious fact in natural history is the par- these birds seem to thrive and fatten on a poison 

tiality of the rhinoceros hornbill [Buceros rhi- a very small portion of which is sufficient to 

noceros) for the fruit of the Strychnos nn.x kill man or beast. The Mahomedans, amongst 

vomica, from whence strychnine is obtained. whom the flesh of the hornbill is considered a 

The Strychnos is a forest tree which flourishes great delicacy, say that the bird's power of as- 

in the province of Ganjam, in the Madras Pres- similating in its body the virulent poison im- 

idency, and has a majestic and imposing ap- parts to its flesh valuable medicinal and nutri- 

pearance, bearing clusters of vivid green and tive properties, and it is in consequence much 

golden-colored fruit. In the pulp ot these fruits sought after. It is no uncommon occurrence 

are imbedded the seeds from which the poison, to take from the crop of a hornbill sufficient 

strychnine, is extracted, and the fruit and seeds Nux vomica seeds to kill half a dozen men, and 

are the favorite food of that grotesque huge- though Europeans have a prejudice against 

billed bird the rhinoceros hornbill. Wherever eating the flesh, arguing that as the bird feeds 

a Nux vomica tree is in fruit numbers of these on poisonous matter it must be poisonous, yet 

birds will be seen congregated uttering their this is a fallacy, for a well-roasted hornbill is no 

harsh screaming notes and fighting for the unworthy addition to the sportsman's jungle 

spoil. It is difficult to account for the tact, but fare, and is excellent eating. 



THE DEATH OF SUMMER. 

By Franklin Pierce Carrigan. 

Softly moan, thou bewailing winds, 

For Summer lies cold and white upon her bier ; 

The semblance of the loveliest time of year 
Still lurks within her saddened smiles, 

That penetrate the dimness of the autumn mist, 
And linger on the hills for miles, 
And gild the surface of the woodland aisles, 

That sweet September — sad-eyed maid !— has stooped and kissed. 

Hide thy luminous face, O, sun ! 

Bid the clouds distill their azure seas of tears; 

More blessed was the life of her that hears 
The rain upon her coffin lid. 

Bury her beneath the tall, redolent pines, 
Where early roses' roots are hid 
Till they burst forth in bloom, by bright June bid ; 

Then bury her where creep the constant ivy vines. 

October, strew not there thy leaves ! 

For their weight, tho' light, might burden her fair breast; 

Quench thy hollow moans, oh ! winds, and let her rest — 
Our love was such as few do know. 

The pines (how can they endure the winter's blast ?) 
Will shield her from the cold and snow, 
The murm'rous winds in pity soft will blow, 

She'll sleep as all will sleep when weary life is past. 



AMONG THE MOOSE, CAR 

Two young men, Fred and Joe, born and 
brought up in our northern woods in the prime 
ot life and knowing as much of the nature and 
habits of the game roaming in them as any of 
the best of our Indian hunters, not finding 
berths to suit them in the lumber woods, deter- 
mined on a fall hunt on a branch of the Resti- 
gouche River called the Patapedia. One night 
last month I got hold of Fred and drew from 
him the incidents of their hunt. I may pre- 
mise that Fred has hunted from boyhood by 
spells and with his repeating Winchester is 
sure on the bull's eye nine times out of ten at 
a couple of hundred yards. Joe is not so good 
a marksman, but has also killed both bear and 
moose. 

About the latter end of September the boys 
procured a couple of dugouts a canoe made of 
a single pine tree), also an old horse, which his 
owner did not care to winter, for a $20 bill. 
They loaded up with a couple of barrels of 
flour, a barrel of steel traps and other neces- 
sary etceteras, one riding the horse, the other 
steering the canoes for a point some sixty miles 
above the settlements. They got up safely on 
the 5th of October, and their first move was to 
lead the old horse who had done them so much 
service five hundred yards from their intended 
camp, and as Fred said he " felt sore to do it," 
shot him. Next in order was to get up a 
home camp or hut and make it secure against 
invasion in their absence. The next two days 
were spent above and below their camp in one 
of the dugouts setting steel traps for water fur, 
but water fur signs were not equal to expecta- 
tion and the ice was commencing to form on 
the still places and old beaver ponds. On 
passing the poor old horse on their way home 
signs were visible that some animal had been 
paying it attention, and closer examination 
showed that Mr. Bruin had been around. Joe 
at once wanted a steel set but Fred said : 

" No ; the longer we let him live so much 
the better will be the skin. We are sure of him 
if we want him." 

That night a few Johnny-cakes were cooked 



115<»i , BEAR AND BKAVER. 

M VAT. 

flour, cold water and soda baked hard in 
preparation for a four days' tramp to set up a 
martin line. In early fall these traps, made of 
wood on the dead fall principle, are set on the 
ground ; later when snow commences they are 
in a hollow stub, or a tree is felled and the trap 
set on the stump. From sixteen to twenty 
traps is a fair clay's work for a hunter, particu- 
larly if he has to clear the line or even to spot 
or blaze the trees along it. As the boys ex- 
pected snow every day, and, as they intended to 
hunt in March and April, they set up their 
traps on stumps, cutting a proper sized tree 
down lor the purpose. It was necessary for 
Joe to go to the dead horse in the morning to 
fill the bait bag and also to get sufficient for a 
" drag." The latter is a piece of meat or game 
of some sort which the hunter drags behind 
him on the line of traps to attract the attention 
of game crossing the line, and it, of course, in- 
duces them to follow until they come to the 
first trap. Should the fisher (wild or black cat 
as he is sometimes called) strike a marten line, 
and he is always on the cruise, he makes short 
work of the wooden marten traps. Generally 
every tenth trap is set purposely for him, but 
he will seldom get caught, and if so constructed 
that he cannot tear it to pieces he will shy off 
from it. A steel trap is the only remedy, and 
even then it must be so set with a heavy spring 
pole as to lift the fisher clear of the ground ; if 
not you will get his foot lor your pains, and I 
have known instances of their cutting the end 
of a birch spring pole four inches in diameter 
and getting away with the trap. Instances are 
also known of their being caught with only one 
foot remaining. In size they vary, but are gen- 
erally from three to four times the size of the 
marten, of which they seem to be fond and no 
doubt catch them. Every marten they come 
to which may be trapped on a line they tear to 
shreds and will follow the line from end to end, 
and if the hunter cannot trap him he has to 
quit that part of the torest. 

Let us follow Joe. When he sighted the old 
horse he also sighted Master Bruin at his 



28 



A -. 1 Ti 'RE'S REALM. 



breakfast, and Joe had to let out more than 
one whoop before he would leave the carcass. 

Carrying one rifle, the blankets rolled up 
with the Johnnys inside, each one with their 
axe and kettle, and knife on their belt, the bait 
bag and drag being brought up by the hind- 
most, the first spotting or blazing both sides of 
the trees selected on the route, trap-setting 
commenced. The objective point was another 
stream supposed to be sixteen miles distant on 
a southern course, but as the start was not early 
thirty-five traps were only got down. With a 
pair of roasted partridges for supper the day 
ended. Next morning work was resumed with 
a result of fifty-six traps, a big day's work. 
The forest was nearly all hardwood and many 
old and some new signs of moose were passed. 
The night of the third day, with fifty more traps 
set, brought them to the margin of what seemed 
a long and rather narrow lake. Before they 
got to sleep sounds of moose feeding were 
heard by Fred, and as the bait bag and drag 
required renewing, he told Joe there was a sight 
for moose steak for breakfast. 

By the peep of day Fred was stealing along 
the margin of the lake with the moose signs 
showing very plenty, the animals having made 
it a favorite summer resort, which they hang 
round until the ice makes so strong they can 
no longer break it. As the lake seemed to nar- 
row below him Fred quietly crept down about 
half a mile until he reached its outlet ; here he 
disturbed a bank beaver at his morning meal 
and could have killed him only for fear of dis- 
turbing higher game. This beaver is not at 
all different in appearance from his fellows. 
Why he prefers a solitary state (the beaver 
being a regular family man and a very sociable 
animal) is one of the unsolved problems. In- 
dians say he is a lazy fellow — "won't work; 
maybe lost his wife or got sick, hunt medi- 
cine." To a certainty the castors of a bank or 
solitary beaver are worthless. But I am digress- 
ing from Fred. Not caring to go around the 
far end and side of the lake, as he could see no 
end to it, he resumed his back tracks, and 
when about halfway the passage of something 
on the opposite side of the lake caught his 
quick ear. Raising his sight to four hundred 
yards he quietly dropped behind a balsam fir, 



and immediately a moose emerged from the 
opposite margin, walked a few steps to the 
water and threw up his head. After standing 
a few seconds, and, as Fred expected he would, 
be turned, probably getting the scent of camp, 
although a quarter of a mile distant. Fred 
had him covered from the instant he emerged ; 
also had a good rest on the limb of a tree. But 
as it was a rather long shot and the animal was 
head on, deemed it prudent to wait until he 
could get a sight behind the fore shoulder. The 
moment the moose turned Fred fired. The 
shock brought him to his knees and just as he 
recovered ball number two reached him and 
he gave three bounds and fell in a heap, turn- 
ing a somersault. The first ball went through 
the shoulder, breaking the bone ; the second di- 
rectly through his heart. Fred now collected 
some driftwood for a raft to cross and before it 
was ready Joe was on hand with his axe, and 
in a few minutes they crossed, and then bleed- 
ing and skinning commenced, and the carcass 
was unjointed and withed up to the surround- 
ing trees. As he was a four-year-old male and 
not a bad set of antlers, the head was also 
hoisted up, although Joe remarked that "he'd 
be darned if he would haul it out." With 
enough to replenish the bait bag and a new 
drag, with a steak piece, and setting up a couple 
of traps, the boys put across to camp, and before 
they had finished their broiled steak there com- 
menced to fall heavy, wet snow. 

" Up blanket," says Fred ; " it is no use to go 
on ; it will freeze by morning and all the traps 
behind us, if we go on, will be hard and fast." 

The heavy snow also bent the undergrowth 
in all directions, making it so disagreeable and 
so wet to travel that no person, unless a hunter, 
can have any idea of such a tramp. 

The next morning was better, the snow frozen 
hard to the bushes, but the sixteen miles was a 
hard tramp, as they had to clean and rebait 
their one hundred and forty traps, out of which 
they took twenty-seven marten and a rascally 
fisher who had destroyed five before he got into 
a steel trap. Don't imagine, dear reader, that 
the boys carried this game very far without 
halting and skinning. As for the stretching, it 
is all done after hours, and generally the first 
work of a hunter is to get a number of stretch- 



NATURE'S REALM. 



29 



ers, commonly cedar, of sizes and shapes suit- 
able. Bear and moose skins are usually 
stretched between two trees a suitable distance 
apart, according to the size of the skin. 

The next morning on turning out there were 
strong signs of Mr. Bruin having been pros- 
pecting around the camp the day previous. 

" Now," says Fred, " this old chap has a 
strong notion of house-breaking ; it is not safe 
to trust him. I'll go up and interview him if 
possible while you get breakfast, as we must go 
on the river to-day," and catching up " Kill- 
deer," as he calls his Winchester, and dropping 
a few cartridges, wound his way up to the old 
horse 

Now, Fred did not want to shoot this bear ; 
he would rather have left him run or sleep 
until spring, for the good and valid reason that 
his skin would probably fetch ten dollars more 
in price. Fred got along as easy as possible, 
as Mr. Bruin is sharp in the hearing line, but 
when within fifty yards he caught sight of the 
dead horse. Mr. B^uin just having completed 
his morning meal, and possibly hearing Fred, 
was leaving quite slowly and was in the act of 
climbing over a rather high windfall a few 
yards away. Killdeer in an instant spoke, and, 
although nearly over the log, Mr. Bruin fell 
back growling horribly. No wonder. The ball 
had caught the backbone, breaking it, and de- 
flecting, went through the shoulder, breaking 
the bone there also. Mr. Bruin was still alive 
but could not keep his feet, and Killdeer had to 
speak to him twice before he ceased struggling. 
Fred having been nearly caught once by a 
wounded bear which he declares was sham- 
mingdead, registered avow that he would make 
"siccar" (Scottish for sure) ever after. He 
had set a bear trap (wooden) in a small, steep 
ravine one hundred and fifty yards from the 
main river and passing in his dug-out he landed, 
touching the canoe on the steep shore, and 
walked up to examine the trap. (Jn nearing 
the trap he espied a good, large-sized bear 
making frantic efforts to release himself of the 
heavy weight across his loins. Yrtd at this 
time carried a heavy Colt s, with which he could 
do good shooting, so. coming up close and hav- 
ing a fair chance, he placed two balls into Mr. 
Bruin, aiming for the heart. The bear at once 



seemed to give up the ghost and Fred at once 
proceeded to throw the weights off in order to 
drag the bear to the canoe. It took him only 
a minute or so to do this, and he turned to twist 
a withe to haul by. but hearing a growl he 
wheeled about and within five yards of him 
was Mr. Bear on his feet, blood and froth issu- 
ing from his mouth. Remembering his revol- 
ver was empty, Fred dashed down the ravine 
at the best speed he could put in and lucky it 
was for him the track was good, being an old 
lumber road. It was run, Fred, now ; Bruin's 
after you ! Fred got there first — none too soon, 
though, for his canoe as he pushed her from 
the bank and jumped in, was not twenty feet 
away when Mr. Bear jumped a ter him, but a 
blow or two of his paddle sent the canoe out of 
reach. Fred quickly filled up the chambers of 
his Colt and as Mr. Bear neared him again he 
made a target of his head until Mr. Colt was 
emptied, and Mr. Bruin was floating with a 
riddled head. It made Fred careful ever after 
not to trust to appearances. By the time Joe 
got up Fred had the pelt nearly off, and, shoul- 
dering a ham each, they went to breakfast. The 
bear was in good condition and fat from, as 
Joe said, the effect of his ten days' high feeding 
on trap baits. 

Manning a canoe down river they went some 
eight miles and on the return gathered up four 
beavers, two otters, seven minks and fourteen 
musquash. Two beavers were lost, one having 
cut his foot and left it in the trap ; an otter had 
fished another out of a trap and torn him to 
pieces. The water had risen and flooded their 
traps, which caused them to miss game they 
otherwise would have caught, and the still 
ponds were badly frozen. How would your 
readers like the sport of a day's polling when 
the ice makes upon the pole you hold so that 
it is necessary to beat it every little while to 
take the ice off it, growing so stout your hand 
is unable to grasp it ? 

Next day the other eight miles above camp 
had to be gone over in the same manner after 
a cold night. They could not start until the 
sun got up to soften the ice somewhat. After 
a hard day they reached camp near midnight 
with three beaver, four minks and twenty-two 
muskiats, and having by some manner unac- 



3<> 



NATURES REALM. 



countable lost two No. 4 traps which had been 
set for otter. Fred declared nothing but a 
human being took them and they had been car- 
ried away previous to the first snow, although 
no signs had been seen. It is a well recognized 
law amongst hunters, whites or Indians, that 
all traps or furs in them are to be held inviola- 
ble, and often one hunter striking another line 
will return the furs be may find in them. 

The next day was again snowy and sleety, 
and as another line of marten traps had to be 
set, Johnny-cakes flavored with Mr. Bruin's 
lard, toboggan wood, snow-shoe bows and 
lots of etceteras were worKed at. Next day, 
being fine an early start was made, the plunder 
being axes, bait, bag, blankets and drag. A 
northerly course was decided upon, leading 
through spruce lands and juniper barrens. 
This was a big day's work, with nearly a foot 
of snow on the ground, but the caribou tracks 
were plenty. At night they had sixty traps 
set, which was also a big day's work, thirty- 
five of them being planted by Fred. Next day 
about 10 o'clock they struck the end of a bar- 
ren with a few straggling junipers growing at 
about half a mile from them, and here they 
counted thirteen caribou. A council of war 
was held, and, as hide was wanted for snow- 
shoes (the caribou being preferable to any 
other), also bait and drag, it was ordered that 
one of the herd should die. As the wind was 
right and blowing hard the boys crept along 
in the spruce woods at the edge of the barren, 
and on peeping out to learn as to their pro- 
gress on the herd, a mighty fellow, the lord of 
the harem, who had been lying down previously, 
had risen. 

"Oh, Fred," says Joe, "take that head for 
the old man ; isn't he a daisy ! " 

■ All right," replied Fred, "I'll lower his 
horns for him." 

On they crept until nearly opposite at about 
one hundred and fifty yards distant. Some of 
the herd were scraping the snow from the moss, 
others were lying down. 

" Now," says Fred, "the bull goes first and 
then that sleek young cow. She is the beef for 
stews." 

When the big stag got the Winchester bullet 
he gave one leap and fell ; immediately recov- 



ering, he got three more and tumbled in a 
heap. Fred had him under the sight, but see- 
ing the last fall knew he was done for. No 
move as yet was made by the herd, as they had 
neither seen nor smelled anything. Fred then 
aimed for the brain of the young cow and she 
fell like a clod. The boys went over thirty 
yards toward them, the herd now running at 
a tangent for the woods, when the cow rose, 
going like a flash. "Ah," says Fred, " not so 
fast," and as he swerved to follow the herd 
Killdeer spoke, but the cow still kept on. The 
next ball did the job, going right through the 
heart, the first one having glanced from the 
skull, stunning her ; the second went through 
the body six inches behind the heart. Skinning, 
dismembering and tricing up the quarters to 
trees and burying the offal, so that game com- 
ing around would have to go to the traps set 
for them, occupied the rest of the day. 

Next morning the trap setting was resumed, 
the caribou broil having put fresh life in the 
boys, and night brought them up on the bor- 
ders of quite a large lake with fifty more traps 
for their day's work. Breakfast was had long 
before day and Fred was away to round the 
lake, find its outlet and look for beaver. Joe 
was to go on rebaiting traps, if necessary, on 
the home track and cutting any bushes in the 
way of hauling a toboggan. Joe had not gone 
far before a lynx who had been following the 
drag on the preceding day unfortunately got 
his foot into a steel trap. When cornered in 
this manner they are somewhat ugly and too 
close acquaintance is not desirable, owing to 
the length and sharpness of their claws ; but 
Joe this time happened to have Fred's old Colt 
at his belt and soon fixed Mr. Lynx, skinning 
him on the spot and making a bait of the car- 
cass, for if another one happens to come that 
way he is sure to make a meal of his fellow. 
The lynx have the poorest faculty of smell of 
any of the game animals and hunt more by 
sight. The beaver has the keenest, along with 
with the moose and caribou, but the otter is 
the shyest. Not one in twenty will ever cross a 
snow-shoe track ; the slightest noise near his 
place of resort will at once scare him. One 
noted peculiarity of the otter is where he once 
crosses the forest from one water to another, 



.\. //Y'A'A'.s REALM. 



3' 



he goes straight as a line, and will on his next 
visit follow the same route ; also, where he 
slides down a bank or over a rock into the 
water, he is sure to do so again in the same 
.place when he returns, although it may be 
months before he does return. He dearly loves 
to get at a beaver and will watch a beaver 
family for days, but he cannot conquer unless 
he gets the beaver at a disadvantage. The 
beaver's scent is so much superior that he 
knows when Mr. Otter is near and Mr. Otter 
dare not attack if Mr. Beaver is in his house, 
or gets himself protected from a rear attack. I 
believe no animal except man has the knowl- 
edge or instinct of the beaver. Even to say 
that an animal can tell how a tree will fall, 
shows something more than instinct. In dam 
building why will they select one and leave 
others standing alongside just as suitable, only 
doubtful if they would fall across the stream? 
No doubt the wind may deceive them some- 
times, but they do not go wood-cutting on 
windy days. 

< hving to the delay met by Joe he was over- 
taken by Fred when a couple of miles toward 
home. About noon they reached the barren, 
having a fisher and four marten. On sighting 
the barren a small-sized Bruin was seen busy 
unearthing the remains of the caribou, and so 
busily was he employed that he knew nothing 
until Killdeer spoke, when he cleared across the 
barren on -the run, the Winchester speaking 
twice again. 

" He won't go far," says Fred. " Every ball is 
either in or through him." 

I pon following the trail the blood was seen 
on both sides of the track, and one hundred 
yards in the woods Mr. Bruin lay dead. 
" Hurry up" was now the word, and in fifteen 
minutes the hide was off and the carcass 
hoisted whole away up a spruce, the kettle 
was boiling and Fred was ripping the skins 
from the fisher and another lynx who got in a 
trap here. Leaving all but the light skins they 
again started for the home camp, and by 'he 
time they reached it they were pretty well 
loaded, having no less than twenty-two marten. 
Another council of war was now held, as the 
first line of traps must he looked over. Three 
days for one of them, sure. The water fur 



traps required to be taken up and the skins from 
the barren and meat must come home. Finally 
it was decided that Joe should go on the first 
line and Fred should finish a toboggan, bush out 
the track and bring a load from the barren. 
Although tired out it was agreed that the mar- 
ten skinning should be performed before day 
and the rest of it devoted to preparations ab- 
solutely necessa y. Johnny-cakes, toboggans, 
wood-cutting, preparing and bending bows for 
snow-shoes, cleaning any dirty skins, making 
an axe handle and lots of jobs kept them busy. 
I may here describe the food while traveling : 
Some hunters carry two kettles — one to make 
their pancakes in carrying a bag of flour and fat 
of some sort, or pork ; the other kettle for the 
tea. These boys always had sufficient cakes 
baked hard with fat in them ; also a piece of 
fat, clear salt pork, from which a slice was cut 
and held to the fire on a wooden skiver or 
branch. If grouse happened to be killed they 
were generally kept for breakfast and roasted 
in the hot ashes from the over-night's fire. 
Of course in camp, stews, steaks, hearts, beaver 
tails, along with fried trout, was the menu, and 
not at all a bad one. 

The next morning good-bye was said by Joe 
for three days, Fred giving himself two to the 
barren and return. His toboggan having two 
long, flexible shafts attached with thongs com- 
ing under his arms, with a strap across his 
breast, the rifle, blanket and cakes all rolled to- 
gether and tied on left his arms free to use the 
axe on any bush necessary to cut in his way. 
If a trap needed fixing or a martin was to be 
taken out and hung up no time was lost, and 
Fred strode his six or seven miles, clearing his 
track by noon. Loading up with two quarters 
of the young cow, two bear hams and the three 
skins, he turned for home. Another lynx and 
five marten paid his wages for the day. Next 
day he haired the caribou skins, cutting them 
into thongs and placing them in steep to weave 
into the snow-shoes, which would soon be re- 
quired. The following day, as it was soft and 
fine, Fred manned the canoe and lifted all the 
water fur traps on the lower line of the river, 
getting two beaver, one otter, five minks and 
a do/en muskrats. Upon getting home he 
found Joe had just got in after a hard siege. 



32 



NATURES REALM. 



his traps having been terribly robbed, there 
having been no less than three fishers on the 
line, only one of them being caught ; ten mar- 
ten and three lynx were added to the store, 
which was now beginning to look respectable. 

The next morning ice was running in the 
river and it was not possible to get out the bal- 
ance of traps set in it. However, snow-shoe 
wearing, moccasin making and meat pies was 
in order. The next day was no better and no 
move could be made, as it looked like snow. 

On the following morning they pushed 
through the ice for four miles, but had to take 
to the shores finally, one on each side, walk 
five miles and carry traps back to the canoe, the 
snow coming down fast. Joe had lour traps 
and two beaver to carry ; Fred three traps and 
one beaver, he having lost another trap. These, 
together with two more beavers and four minks, 
they took in whilst poling to the home camp, 
which was very welcome. The morning fol- 
lowing the snow was fully eighteen inches 
deep and Joe started to bush his line, returning 
to the home camp at night, Fred doing the 
same. Again they started, each on his own 
line, each with his toboggan, to remain a week 
out and extend the lines if signs were favora- 
ble. Caribou were very plenty on Fred's divi- 
sion, but having as much as he wanted he would 
not kill, as the skin is of little value. The boys 
now being masters of their work, took times 
somewhat easier, and Fred, when on reaching 
the end of his line not seeing marten signs 
plenty, and keeping his steel traps with him, 
followed the lake to its outlet and traveled the 
river ten miles through heavy alder flats and 
old beaver dams, most of which had no tenants, 
beaver hunters having cleaned them out the 
year previous. He therefore retraced his steps, 
shooting a fisher who undertook to cross the 
lake in front of him. Fred says this was a 
six hundred yard shot and that the animal sat 
on the ice perfectly still. On arriving at the 
barren of course he loaded on half of the big 
caribou and head, getting home with two lynx, 
six marten and his fisher. 

Joe got back on time with a load of moose 
meat. He had also been on a branch of the 
Kedgewick, following the stream for fifteen 
miles without finding beaver, and seeing also 



poor marten signs. Those corsed fishers, Joe 
said, were playing Old Harry with the marten 
traps and they were shy of the steel traps. 
One of them, he said, was going on two stumps ; 
the tracks in the snow told him this. However, 
he brought two lynx and eight marten to help 
the store. It was now near the middle of Novem- 
ber and snow was fully eighteen inches deep, 
and all the lakes and still places on the river 
were frozen. A couple of days were spent in 
camp, a cache was built to place their spare 
meat in for the spring bear hunt ; lots of wood 
got and things made in shape for a month's 
stay, or until the river froze over. As they had 
now more time they concluded to keep together, 
four days of each week being sufficient to 
examine the lines of traps. 

"Now,'' says Fred, "what do you say, Joe, 
to a toboggan load of trout out of my lake ? " 

"All right, Fred, I'll put a five-bushel sack 
on my toboggan." 

" Well," returned Fred, "you go on and get 
up a lean-to (a shelter made with the bark of the 
white birch laid on poles and the snow thrown 
on the top) and I'll bait the traps up." 

When Fred got into Joe's camp Joe had 
partridge stew for supper, but had no time to 
try for trout. 

" Never mind," says Fred, "we'll keep qual- 
ity hours to-morrow and have them for a Jate 
breakfast." 

" How do you know there are any here?" 
asked Joe. 

"Thousands of them," returned Fred, "I 
dreamt it." 

The fact was that on his previous visit, the 
ice in places being clear, Fred had seen them. 

The next morning after trying different places. 
Joe struck a school and such fierce biting was 
never seen before — short, plump fellows — many 
ot them were in fine condition, others again 
quite thin, dark colored and not recovered from 
the spawning process. 

Now a smoked trout or salmon is rather a 
tempting bait for all carnivorous game ani- 
mals. Joe knew it and took all that came for 
half an hour and then concluded he had enough. 
Fred was a mile away and had not seen a fin 
when Joe made signs to him to come home. 

The next morning with the new bait they 



NATURE'S REALM. 



33 



struck for the barren in a snow storm, and in 
crossing it to obtain the balance of caribou 
meat they came within easy range of what they 
supposed was ihe former herd, but tor reasons 
already given would not touch them. Seven 
marten, three lynx and a traveling mink only 
was disappointing and showed that the marten 
had left the ground, which they often do, their 
return being very uncertain, as they have no 
stated circles of feeding grounds, rambling 
apparently without purpose, feeding on the 
moose, rabbit, squirrel or anything they can 
kill, and when all other food fails they eat the 
rowan tree berries which remain on the trees 
during the winter. 

After a day in camp Joe's line was gone over. 
There was Mr. Fisher with both front feet 
gone just above the paws ! Joe knew he would 
follow him, so on his last trip he set a steel trap 
on the snow-shoe track without any spring 
pole, simply fastening the ring on the chain to 
a bush and immediately above the trap sus- 
pended a good sized bait with a strong fasten- 
ing just within reach of a good jump. Of 
course the trap was carefully covered. Mr. 
Fisher made the leap, but, unfortunately for 
him, his hind feet s"prung the No. 4 Wodehouse 
trap and he was there all right. This trip 
added thirteen marten and the fisher to their 
store. For the next three weeks those lines of 
traps were gone over and baited, and by the 
middle of December the snow had reaohed a 
depth of two and a-half feet, and there seemed 
to be nothing in the woods now excepting the 
caribou herds on the north side of the stream. 
Their last three weeks' hunt only brought them 
thirty marten and four lynx, and as there was 
now sufficient ice on the river to travel, it was 
determined to move ten or more miles down 
the river. Loading the toboggans with the 
furs, provisions for ten days and the caribou 
head, and fixing up the camp until their return 
to it in March, a start was made, and for the 
most part of the way they found firm ice. Upon 
arrival at the point desired camp was made for 
a week's stay, their object being, if possible, 
to kill a half dozen caribou before the season 
closed and cache the meat alongside the river 
as bear bait for the ensuing April and May, this 
being the bear country par excellence, there 



being burned hills on either side for long dis- 
tances on which the blue berries grow. 

The first day out the boys could not get near 
the animals, as the caribou can walk fully as 
fast as a man can snow-shoe, unless in a crust 
which will not carry him. Running or chasing 
was not tried, as Fred said : " There are plenty 
here ; the right day will come." The next day 
they tried the opposite side of the stream and 
Fred got in on a large one on the run, but at a 
long distance, with no result, as no signs of 
blood were left behind him. This night it 
snowed and next morning a gale from the 
northwest was raging. " Now,'' says Fred, 
" we'll have them." After crossing a half mile 
of the burnt woods new tracks were struck and 
in ten minutes three caribou were in sight — an 
easy shot, in fact a large buck within twenty 
yards, although scarcely visible through the 
whirling snow. Such a day seems to destroy 
the scent, which is caused no doubt by the 
atmosphere being clogged with fine particles 
of snow. The buck stood broadside on. "Take 
him, Joe, behind the shoulder," says Fred, at 
the same time aiming fair between the eyes of the 
next nearest. Both fell, but the buck recov- 
ered himself and Joe gave him another ball, 
but it was unnecessary. The third caribou, 
instead of fleeing, actually made a few steps 
toward her mate as if to see why she had fallen, 
when Fred again brained her, she hardly 
moved after falling. It was at once decided to 
rip the skins off while they were warm, leaving 
the carcasses to be hauled out, and as such 
another day tor their purpose might not soon 
occur, to kill three more if possible, deeming 
that sufficient. 

As the opposite side of the river seemed to 
show the best signs, they went out to camp and 
after lunch went up a small ravine. In about 
half a mile fresh tracks were struck in its bed. 
" Those can't be far," says Joe, scanning the 
bides of the hills, and about seventy yards up 
Joe's eyes caught a body of one among the 
-. At the same instant Fred, who was 
searching the opposite side, got his sight on 
three close together — an easy shot. Both fired 
at once. F red's animal fell, and, throwing in a 
new shell, shot another, which also fell but 
agair rose, and, instead of running from them, 



34 



NATURE'S REALM. 



actually ran down the hill, coming into the bot- 
tom of the ravine not twenty yards from where 
Fred stood. As the caribou passed another 
ball went through the body, the animal falling 
into the little stream. Joe had gone up the hill 
to see where his game had gone, but found 
no trace, and there seemed to be so many 
tracks that all was confusion. Fred's third one 
had also disappeared. He told Joe to keep 
quiet — not to follow, but come back. Joe felt 
put out over his ill luck, but kept on trav- 
eling on the side hill. This spot had escaped 
the fire and had its virgin growth ot wood, in 
which the caribou had taken shelter from the 
storm. Joe had not gone over five hundred 
yards when, watching warily about and glanc- 
ing across the ravine, he espied a caribou 
nimbling at a dead branch on which hung long 
filaments of white moss, of which caribou are 
fond. "Just about one hundred yards," Joe 
said — " no trees this time,*' and carefully aimed 
for the fatal spot. One bound and Joe's cari- 
bou was down never to rise again. Skins were 
taken off and rolled up in small compass and 
a track made to haul out. The day following 
the whole six were hauled to the river and a 
cache made for two ; the others were hauled 
four miles further down and cached, and as 
they had now considered that they had suffic- 
ient, they made a move for the main Resti- 
gouche next day, where the boss settler, Wires, 
resides. The six caribou hides with the second 



head was added, making two respectable to- 
boggan loads, and we got off on the twenty- 
fourth of December. As there would be horses 
bringing lumber supplies up to this point in a 
couple of weeks, the heads and heavy skins 
were left to come by team. The other furs, 
consisting of 132 marten, 5 fishers, 12 beaver, 
3 otter, 15 mink, 36 muskrat and 17 lynx, were 
packed on the toboggan and brought to market. 
Having bought fur previously from Fred he 
offered me the lot, but as furs had gone down 
in price and were expected to drop still lower, 
I could not offer the price he set on them. 
I, however, offered him $325, at the same 
time telling him that I knew there were 
other parties who would give him more. He 
accordingly sold the lot for $360 and the party 
buying sold himself at the same time. I finally 
bought the hides, bear skins and heads, and give 
you measurements of heads as follows : 

The largest is from end ot nose to end ot antler, 53 inches. 

Base of skull to end of antler 37 " 

Width of small antlers 21 " 

Width at end of large antlers, ........ 36 " 

Number of prongs on each antler, 18. 

This is the largest and finest head ever seen 
here. The next one in size is considerably 
less, with fourteen prongs, but most symmetri- 
cal, and would be considered a No. 1 head. 
Mr. Fred goes up soon again and says he is 
bound to kill thirty bear before coming back, 
and probably his spring hunt will be much 
more exciting than this has been. 



THE AQUARIUM. 



CONDUCTED BY HUGO MILERTT. 
[The Editor of this Department will i.heerfully answer all queries relative to the i ondni t of Aquaria.] 



The goldfish is a member of the car)) family 
and a native of Asia. Its natural habitat is 
standing water. In China or Japan goldfish 
are found of all colors except green ; they also 
vary largely in shape and size — some species 
grow large enough for the table, while others 
never grow more than a few inches in size. 
The goldfish may well be counted as one of the 
domestic animals. It holds the same place 
among the finny tribe that pigeons hold among 
birds — they are prized for their shapes and 
colors. 

The first goldfish brought to Europe, from 
where this country received its earliest sup- 
plies, were of the poorest and commonest 
breed ; they were of a golden color, hence the 
name for the entire genus ; and it will thus be 
understood why people speak of black, white, 
red or blue goldfish. The old-fashioned gold- 
fish lives now in a wild state in this country, 
and is in fact counted among the native fishes 
of North America. 

Goldfish are easily kept as pets, and most of 
those that die are killed through mistaken kind- 
ness rather than neglect. One of the main 
troubles arises from the habit of some people to 
keep more than they can comfortably. A pair 
of two and one-half to three-inch goldfish should 
have one gallon of water to live in. If they are 
larger, they need more in proportion. In buy- 
ing fish select such that were cultivated and 
kept in standing water. The sizes of these 
should be in proportion with the vessel for which 
they are intended. 

In fitting up the globe or tank for them see 
that it is cleaned without the use of soap ; cover 
the bottom one inch deep with coarse, sharp, 
sea or river sand ; in this plant one or more 
kinds of water plants ; place several little rocks 
or pebbles about their roots to hold them in 
place until established, and then carefully fill 
the vessel to within two inches of the tap with 
pure water — whether this is spring, well, cis- 
tern or hydrant water, is immaterial. As long 
as it is fit to drink for yourself it is all right, but 
it should be clear. Now gently place your fish 
jn the water, together with a few water snails 



and one or two tadpoles, which will act as scav- 
engers ; then set the entire collection where it 
will have an abundance of pure air, good light, 
but no sun. Submerged water plants, when 
exposed to light, purify the water. 

Once a day goldfish should be fed with pre- 
pared goldfish food. A piece as large as a 
cent, crumpled up, is enough for two small 
fish each time. If you feed more than they eat 
at once, it will spoil the water. To this, their 
regular meal, you may add, to good advantage, 
once a week some scraped raw beef or chopped 
up earth worms, in quantities to allow a small 
mouthful for each fish. 

The inner side of the glass of the vessel in 
which you keep your fish must be wiped off at 
least once a week, after which also the water 
lost by evaporation is replaced. If these in- 
structions be followed it will not be necessary 
to change the water of the globe oftener than 
every two or three months, while a square tank 
will keep six months and longer, but after six 
months it is best to clean and rearrange an 
aquarium. 

The best temperature for goldfish is between 
6o° F. andcp F. They will stand it as low 
as 32 F. and as high as no F., but they are 
very sensitive to sudden changes — io° one or 
the other way may prove fatal. When goldfish 
gasp for air on the surface of the water it indi- 
cates that they are uncomfortable, Find out 
the cause. It may arise from a close atmos- 
phere before a thunderstorm, impure air in 
your room, or decomposing objects, such as 
minerals or sea shells, etc,, contained in the 
water; at any rate, when you see your fish in 
that condition attend to them at once, or they 
will die a fearful death by suffocation. 

These are the main points one has to observe 
to keep goldfish in a healthy state, and under 
such treatment goldfish may be kept in a thriv- 
ing condition for ten years and even longer. 
The important question, "how often the water 
ought to be changed on goldfish," is therefore 
thus answered : "As often as it becomes ne- 
cessary under the prevailing conditions." 



NOTES AND QUERIES 



[Under this Department Heading queries relative to all branches of Natural History will be answered.] 



Taming Wild Birds. 

When young I raised many wild birds, and, 
as the time is coming for their mating and busy 
season for building and rearing their young, it 
may give some young folks pleasure to explain 
the method by which I was perfectly successful. 

I watched the nest of such as I desired to get 
until the young birds were old enough to feed 
and not old enough to fly or get scared. 1 then 
loosened the nest carefully, placed it in a tight 
cage near the bars, with a ledge outside, from 
which it might be convenient for the parent 
bird to feed them. The cage should be hung 
in some convenient place near where the nest 
had been located, on a tree or bush, out of the 
reach of cats. 

At first the old birds are shy, and manifest 
their disapprobation by rapid darting around 
and scolding in loud voices, yet I never found 
them to desert their offspring, but feeding them 
regularly. I would then begin to feed them, 
too, with a little sweet biscuit, berries, seeds 
and worms, or some green stuff. The old birds 
attended them for a time, finally leaving them 
to my care. There is a current idea afloat 
that, after they find their young prisoners, the 
old birds poison them. It is not so, as I have 
tested it thoroughly. After removing the cage 
to the house, the old birds, having ceased their 
care, I fed them in the usual way, paying the 
same attention to cleanliness, and carefully 
giving them fresh water for frequent bathing. 

I once raised a pet yellow bird, a lively little 
feathered creature, about the size of a canary, 
and almost precisely similar in color. The 
plumage of the male was of a bright yellow 
color ; wings, tail and crown black. The 
plumage of the female was more of a brownish 
yellow. They build their nests in bushes of 
lichens cemented and interwoven together, and 
lined inside with some soft substance. They 
were very thick around the house, as they gen- 
erally are where mustard seeds ar< plenty. 

I learned to have confidence in giving them 
their liberty by accident. One harvest day 
mother came out to the field and > \citedly told 
me that my pet bird had escaped from the cage, 
Which J h;-wl pel 



room. I came to the house feeling sad, as a 
child would, and found my bird perched in the 
topmost branch of a high pear tree, gleefully 
enjoying its freedom. Procuring a biscuit from 
the house I called to it, and received its chirp- 
ing answer as it turned its head and recognized 
its once master. To my surprise it flew down, 
perched upon my shoulder, fed upon the bis- 
cuit, and allowed me to put it in the cage again. 
After that I gave it liberty. Nothing delighted 
it so much as to hop out of the cage on to my 
finger, fly to my shoulder, and manifest its 
great delight by stooping, ruffling its feathers, 
spreading its wings in quivering pleasure, and 
sticking out its little bill to be kissed, like a 
pouting child. 

I had it in the shop one day, hopping around, 
when it suddenly fell over as in a fit, but re- 
covered only to relapse into another while on 
my shoulder, and died in my hands. I buried 
it lovingly back of the barn, with a post for a 
headstone. W. M. Kohl. 



A Frog ox an Outing. 

In the early part of this summer we had a 
severe thunder storm, accompanied with a 
high wind, about sundown. The next morn- 
ing, on entering the sitting room, I saw an ob- 
ject on the carpet near the window of an un- 
usual appearance, and presumed some one had 
purchased a green rubber frog and placed it 
there for mischief. On a closer inspection I 
found it was a live frog, white belly, quite a 
dark green body and black spots ; black stripes 
across the legs ; body three inches long. He 
was very lively, and I found him perched on 
the low window sill when I came back with the 
watering pot to secure my visitor. I covered 
the top with the exception of a small space for 
air, intending, after my return from the city, to 
leave him out and see if he started in the direc- 
tion nf the nearest water, some distance off; 
but, before the rest of the family saw him, he 
had somehow made his escape. 

I had often read of it raining frogs, toads, 

but here I had stronger evidence than I 

had ever heard of, as this front room was the 

ond story, and a very high one, therefore ho 



.Y. / Ti 'RES REALM. 



37 



could not have jumped up. He was not born 
there, except he was borne on the wings of the 
wind. He could not be accounted for, except 
the storm picked him up over half a mile off at 
least, as neither the Little Miami or the Ohio 
River, with no creeks between them and us, 
were nearer than that distance, and carried 
him to the floor of the upper porch, when he 
hopped or was carried into the room by the 
storm before the windows were closed, which 
I learned was done after the fury of the storm 
had commenced. K. 



3 



A Mongrel Stork <>r Heron. 

The London Zoological Gardens have just 
received several specimens of the umbrette, 
which has not been exhibited since the year 
1884. It is, however, fairly common through- 
out the Cape colony and in other parts of Africa, 
and extends its range to Madagascar. It is 
one of those birds which has proved a difficulty 
to the systematise for it does not fit accurately 
into any classificatory scheme. It is half a he- 
ron and half a stork, with a general appearance 
which is unlike that of either. On the whole, 
in its structure it comes nearer to the heron, 
and it has the rather melancholy demeanor of 
that bird. It lives upon fish and frogs. Curi- 
ously enough, it is looked upon by some of the 
natives of both Africa and Madagascar as a 
bird of evil augury. In Africa it is held to be 
sacred and to possess the power of witchcraft. 
There is something portentions and solemn 
about the behavior of all these herons and bit- 
terns which easily accounts for the origin of 
these legends. Occasionally the umbrette re- 
laxes the severity of its demeanor and executes 
a fantastic dance with outspread wings. It is 
also a bird of refined and aesthetic tastes, which 
are not shared by its immediate kinsmen, the 
herons and storks. It adorns its nest with but- 
tons, fragments of pottery, bits of glass and any 
other bright-looking objects which come in its 
way. The nest itself is enormous- nearlj 
feet ai mis — and its interior divided into three 
chambers.. This is an unheard-of luxury, 
pecially as it only lays two eggs and does not 
take in any lodgers, such as cuckoi 



X vi r re's Perseverance. 

The following diagram is that of a cane 

which was cut in Pennsylvania about 

half a century ago, and is now in 

possession ol my brother. It grew 

from a white oak acorn buried about 

three or four feet deep under a stone 

pile in an angle of a worm fence on 

the southeast 

edge ot a woods, 

on a spur of Edge 

hill ridge, in 

Montgomery 

County. 

The cane as 
given is with the 
bark oft, and, 
though but the 
usual length of a 
cane, three feet, 
the total length is 
seven and a half feet. The curi- 
ous part is that Nature reversed 
herself, as the base ot the trunk 
just where it was cut above ground, 
alter removing the stone, is three- 
eighths of an inch in di- 
ameter ; while three feet, 
perpendicular height up, 

it was only a sixteenth less 
than an inch. 

It will be observed that 
in its difficult passages through the 
dark crevices of the stone pile, it 
grew almost straight, with one small 
joint up fourteen inches, where it 
struck a flat surface; then followed a 
gallery at right angles five and a half 
inches ; from hjre 
it was obliged to 
trace its way di- 
rectly toward the 
earth, slanting to 
the left ten 
inches down 
where it 
filled up a space three inches across formed as 
the opening allowed, and then found its way off 
to The ri^ht slis j uUo or. t- 



38 



NATURE'S REALM. 



vious way to daylight. I have not the data for 
the height above the stone pile. 

The photo does not give a correct idea of 
the twisting, as the point which appears to 
touch is some distance off, and twists itself in 
every direction within a radius of a foot and a 
half. 

Undisturbed it would no doubt in time have 
gathered strength to shove the stone apart, like 
a curiosity I once saw in Illinois, that of a 
young tree growing out ot the joint between 
the stones in the third story of a court house, 
which began to press the stones apart and 
probably had to be removed 

Another curiosity of a similar nature near 
here is a gravestone almost entirely imbedded 
in the trunk of a large tree. 

It would be curious to know how long the 
tree was seeking the sunlight cf heaven and 
free air. A Student of Nature. 



An Emigration of Ants. 

Away back in the '40's, while learning my 
trade on the Germantown Telegraph, I was 
in the habit of wandering off into the woods or 
along the shady banks of some stream on Sun- 
days when the weather was pleasant, with a 
book from Major Freas'(the editor and publish- 
her of the Telegraph) library. 

One afternoon while lying on a moss-covered 
bank under cover of the shady wood reading 
" Rambles of a Naturalist Around Philadel- 
phia," I noticed and became interested in a 
great army of small black ants traveling along 
the dry sandy bed of the gutter below me on 
the roadside. Tracing the line of march back 
I found they were leaving their old habitation 
on the side bank among the grass for some 
unexplained reason. They were not encum- 
bered by any unnecessary luggage, not even 
provisions. Their young, like maggots with- 
out legs, were carried. Thousands of males, 
females and neuters, the latter being soldiers 
and workers, comprised the line marching for- 
ward. Though scattered, a distinguished fea- 
ture of order and intelligence appeared, as 
some were going back and forward, stopping 
an ant here and there to give some order evi- 
dently. 

Following the gutter some fifty feet, clirpb, 



ing rough places, threading tangled grass and 
weeds like thick forests and jungles, they di- 
verged to the left up a steep, grassy bank 
almost hidden from view, except a glimpse 
here and there, like an army marching through 
a forest, they entered their new home in the 
ground which had been recently made, as 
apparent from the fresh excavated dirt. 

One would suppose that they might have 
provisions to transport for so large an army 
until more could be provided, though they may- 
have laid in a supply. 

Last summer I watched a colony transport- 
ing to their village a supply of mullein blossom, 
a description of which has been published. 

IV. M. A*. 



Do Water Snakes Poison Fish ? 

Having repeatedly been interested in watch- 
ing how water snakes feed, I was careful in 
noting how one particular snake manoeuvred 
to get a meal in Crum Brook, one of the trout 
streams preserved by the Ouaspeake Club, ot 
Rockland County, N. Y., of which I am warden. 

The snake darted from under the bank and 
seized a chub about three inches long, half ot 
its body being in the mouth of th? snake. I 
struck the reptile smartly with my cane, when 
it darted away, and the fish wriggled off slowly 
for a few feet and then lost all power of motion, 
although it did not seem to be even slightly 
bruised. Upon taking it out of the water I ob- 
served a thick slime or mucus covering the 
whole body, which I scraped off, and returned 
the fish to the water. At first the fish was very 
active, swimming around lively, but in a few 
moments seemed once more to lose the power 
of motion. I again took it out of the water, 
and found the coating ot slime thicker upon its 
body than before. I scraped it off again, with 
the same result, but finally the fish turned on 
its side dead, and in about five minutes, spent 
in perfect quietude on my part, the snake came 
from under a submerged stump, seized the fish 
and disappeared. This incident led me to be- 
lieve that the snake poisoned the fish by coating 
it with the thick secretion I found upon its 
body. However this may be, I now take great 
care to kill all the snakes that I find in the club 
waters fJenry Rrendon, 



NATURES REALM. 



& 



Nature's Realm. 

To those who never study Nature, 

\- .t-r see a land-cape f au ". 
Nerer note the wave of beauty, 

Never feel a balmy air. 
These, I say, miss half the pleasure 
Of this life, and in a measure 

Lead a lile of stupid 

It we could teach them what a pleasure 

Nature's study brings to us, 
Us who love each lake and fountain, 
Babbling brook and shaggy mountain, 
If we could teach them this, I know 
The world to them would better grow. 

In Nature's Realm, when hope is dead 
And death with hovering wings is near, 

Amid some green and lovely vale 
They'd find a fount, whose waters clear 

'ITieir fleeting life would stay. 

Take my advice, in N.\ i ike's Realm 
You'll find a cure for .-very care, 

You'll view the landscape bright and clear. 

You'll hear the fountain murmuring near, 
And breathe a balmy air. 

;r. r. ir 



7r. 



Answers to Correspondents. 

I.. P.. Standish. — Your subscription to Nature, which was 
nded last February, will be completed by copies of N \- 
it ke's Realm to the full amount due you. The t h i r t ee n num- 
■aiure which were published constitute the first 
volume of NATURE* Realm, which is, however, issued under a 
new proprietorship and occupies a field of its own, no other 
publication in America being devoted entirely to natural history 
popularized in all its branches. 

]. \V. Wilcox.— We beg to ask consideration from you and 
our other esteemed correspondents named in this column for the 
delay in responding to your queries sent to Nature some 
months ago. See above answer to L. B Standish. We now 
give the information you ask for. The gaur, which extends its 
range from Hindostan through the Indo-Chinese countr. 
the Malay Peninsula, is the largest and fiercest of wild cattle, 
and is said to be not only untamable, but so fierce that it will 
hold its own against the tiger. It grows to an enormous 
height, bulls measuring eighteen hands at the withers being 
apparently not uncommon, and specimens have been recorded, 
on the authority ol well-known sportsmen, which I 
even this greit height. The back is curiously arched, forming 
a fairly continuous curve from the nose to the base of the tail. 
I he skull . and is surmounted by a la ylin- 

drical crest, rising above the base of the horns. The muzzle i- 
1 arge and full. The horns in the adult bull are, like the skull 
that bears them, vary strong and massive ; they extend out- 
ward from the head, and the points are turned upward and in- 
ward. The color of the animals is a very deep, brownish black, 
with the exception of a light tuft on the forehead between the 
horns, and four "white stockings. '' Then- i- no d.-wlap in 



either ing gaur at pre-ent in the I^indon 

- H Drdi u< — You an the bull bat feeds upon 

gnats and other small nch it catches while flying. In 

fair weather these ascend into the upper regions of the ai 
phere, and the bird flies high to catch them ; but, u 
weather changes from fair, the ins. nd near to the 

earth, and the bird follow s them down in pursuit of food. 
Picknickers and oilier- may expect rain or idling weather when 
the bull bat flies low, but can leave umbrellas at home when 
ever] thing is lovely and the bull bat flies high. 

B. W Thi im is — 1 he shell of the crab and lobster ow> 
bluish-gray color to the superposition of two pigments or color- 
ing matters which have been isolated — a red pigment and a 
blue one. As long as these two pigments exist simultaneously 
the crustaceans remain gray. But the blue pigment is very 
fugitive, and sometimes, under the influence of disease, it is 
destroyed, and crabs are found with portions ot their shell 
more or less reddish. When the cri: re immersed in 

boiling water the blue pigment is entirely destroyed, and tie- 
red pigment, which is very stable, appears alone in all its bril- 
liancy. 

G. W. Giles. — In the southern part of Russia the peasants 
put entire faith in the virtues of two small, round stones, found 
in the head of a native fish, as a preventive to the attacks ot 
colic ; hence the term "colic stones," the origin of which you 
are interested in. The fresh-water drum Aplodinotus grun- 
niens , found in our Western States, has two svmmetri^al stones 
in its head, which are often carried as pocket pieces by angler-. 
but we have never heard that medical or prophylactic qualities 
are attributed to them. In Russia these bones, handsomely 
mounted, are often worn as jewelry, especially in necklace 
orm. 

Ontario. — About two hundred pounds seems to be the 
maximum weight of an elephant tu-k. 

B. L. London. — The " nine-pronged wheel bug," of which you 
desire to get some information, is described by Prof. Lock- 
wood. He says : " >uch is the value of this bug to the farmer 
that, a very few put near a caterpiller's nest in a fruit tree, 
would kill every one of them. Its scientific name is Reduvius 
nai-enarius, the last word alluding to the toothed crest or 
prominence having nine projections on the body just behind the 
neck, like a segment of a cogwheel. The insect has a curved 
proboscis, being, in fact, a tubular beak, which it inserts like a 
slab into its prey. It then injects a poisonous fluid, so .. 
that its victim soon dies, and then the bug sucks out the juices 
in a leisurely way. The color of this in- . , and the 

specimen before me measures a little over an inch and a quar- 
ter trom the head to the tip of the broad abdomen 
Redin'ius is highly carniverous, attacking any larva in it- waj 
It is among rhatthetigi id it would 

be a ^ -nculture if we could multiply their numbers 

Then Ken found on fe md the bark ol • 

Each tiny egg has the shape of a foil J by 

the bottom to the bark, and all fin .nding cloa 

r, so maki ii the top Curiously this 

flat mass of eggs, numbering at>out seventy, i- a pel 
gon or six-sided figun I 1 usually m the 

early 'all, thus hatching out next summer. Of the ■ 

the wheel bug it will suth< 

the juices ol live or six caterpillers in a • 



NATURE'S REALM, 

A MONTHLY MAGAZINE, THE 

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POPULAR NATURAL HISTORY. 



CONTENTS OF JANUARY NUMBER. 

A Glorious River — The St. Lawrence 1.0. Russell 

The Yellow Warbler or Blossom-Eater (Illustrated; R. M. G. 

The Three Virgins. An Allegory (Illustrated) Jean La Rue Burnett 

The Spectral Fiddler of the Bad Lands Samuel Parker 

The Farmer's Boy Arthur F. Rice 

The Paradise Fish (Illustrated) Hugo Mulertt 

The Flight of the Moose-Bird Frederic Howard 

The Eagles of Loch au Elean James Cameron 

The Death of Summer (Verse) Franklin Pierce Carrigan 

Our National Flower (Illustrated; Dr. Morris Gibbs 

Among the Moose, Caribou, Bear and Beaver J. Mow at 

The Aquarium (a permanent department) Conducted by Hugo Mulertt 

NOTES AND QUERIES. 

Taming Wild Birds II'. M. Kohl 

A Frog on an Outing A". 

A Mongrel Stork or Heron 

Nature's Perseverance A Student of Nature 

An Emigration of Ants W. M. K. 

Do Water Snakes Poison Fish ? Henry Brendon 

Nature's Realm (Verse) IV. R. W., Jr. 

Answers to Correspondents 

All the above articles are original and written especially for Nature's Realm. 
The Aquarium Department is conducted by Hugo Mulertt, who will answer all que- 
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FKBRL'ARV, 1891. 



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^ Popular Natural History 



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CONTENTS 

Farm Tenants Frederic Hcnvurd 

In the Kingdom of Frost Charles Hallock 

I-orene — A Story of a Dog Samuel Parker 

Vegetable Life Arthur F Rice 

Where All is Life John P. Silvernail 

The Cuckoo — A Mysterious Bird T. O. Russell 

Among the Tigers of India Asian 

To a Violet Found Blooming in November Albert Bigelmv Paine 

A Few Humming Bird Notes Oliver 

The Song of the Ruby Crowned Kinglet Dr Morris Gibbs 

A Day Among the Kangaroos Wm. Senior 

The Aquarium Conducted by Hugo Mulertt 



NOTES AND OIERIES. 

.reat Turtle of Australia. A Curious Snake 

1'hc Sky Lark. 
The Claw in the Lion's Tail 
Can Dogs Talk " 
In the Woods. 



Two West African Fishes 
The Flower Clock. 
Answers to Correspondents 
The Thrush's Song. 



PUBLISHED BV 

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NATURE'S REALM 



Vol. II. 



FEBRUARY, 1891. 



No. 2. 



FARM TENANTS. 



By Frederic Howard. 



That robin's nest was placed in the very 
lowest crotch of the russet apple tree in the 
farther corner of the orchard. I had watched 
the old birds bring the mud. weeds, stalks, and 
lastly the finer grasses, that, from their use as 
a lining for the quite bulky structure, showed 
me that their domicile was completed. 1 
waited in expectation for several days, not dar- 
ing to approach the nest lest the birds would 
be scared into desertion. Walking down the 
outside row of trees one morning, I was de- 
lighted to see the head and tail of the mother 
bird visible over the edges of the nest. She 
left at my near approach and her mate joined 
her in noisy demonstrations against my intru- 
sion. My joy was complete when I found that 
by standing on tiptoe I could just see over the 
rim of the nest down on the four bluish-green 
eggs. This to me, a country youngster just 
out of pinafores, was my first real insight into 
the home life of one of my many feathered com- 
panions. I cannot date my interest in observ- 
ing the birds that tenanted my father's farm, 
but from the incident just related springs the 
first real tangible evidence of either my present 
ornithological collection or acquired knowledge 
as to the habits of the central figures of my 
chosen hobby. 

The bluebirds were sometimes seen in mild 
winters nearly every month, but when from 
the gable of the barn the phcebe alfciounced 
his arrival and name in the same breath, we 
knew that spring had really come. Our phcebe 
was a very domestic bird, as nearly all the fly- 
catchers are, and on the joints that supported 
the floor above the cellar of the hillside barn 
were evidences of long occupation in old and 



broken nests of this pert little fly-catcher. 
They were a fearless pair of birds, going about 
their nest building and incubating regardless 
of the presence of the farm laborers, who often 
worked within a few feet of their nest. I 
watched them as they patiently taught their 
young to fly, first to the wheel of the lumber 
wagon that always stood under the barn, then 
to the fence that marked the confines of the 
barnyard, and lastly to the top of the sweep 
that was balanced at its usual angie over the 
well at the pasture bars, and creaked with 
every gust of wind that came around the cor- 
ner of the barn. When I saw the juvenile 
Sayornis perched in uncertain attitude on that 
pinnacle I knew their lesson was complete and 
I had bid them good-bye. 

Soon after the phoebe came the white-bellied 
swallow to dispute in animated twitterings tin- 
right of possession to the row of " bird houses " 
converted from old salt boxes by the mechani- 
cal genius of the boy of the farm, and nailed 
in a row under the eaves of the crib. Har- 
mony was always restored after a few days of 
contention, and the metallic blue-black of one 
and the sky blue of the other flashed back and 
forth all the long spring days of my boyhood. 

By the time the bluebirds were bringing 
forth their young our tenements were all occu- 
pied by their tenants of the past years. Tin 
cliff swallows were repairing their brittle, bot- 
tle-shaped structures of mud under the eaves 
of the barn, and the barn swallows were dash- 
ing in and out through the holes pecked by the 
flickers during the winter months, and through 
which the morning sun would send a stream 
of light into the now great empty mow-, and 



42 



NATURES REALM. 



flash back a radiance from the swallows' wings 
as they flew about just under the rough-hewn 
rafters. 

The great square chimney of the house, 
which boasted of five fire-places, was ample 
refuge for some half dozen pairs of chimney 
swifts. Their ascent and descent were always 
accompanied by a sound like distant thunder, 
produced by the whirring of their wings, and 
so natural as to deceive the city cousin, and 
ofttimes I have myself started in haste from a 
midday rest on the cool floor of the spare room 
during the haying season, expecting to see 
some darkening thunder clouds looming in the 
northwest. 

In the drooping branches of the row of elms 
along the highway the gaudy black and yellow 
of the Baltimore oriole were always to be seen 
from about the middle of May until the impulse 
of migration drew them southward, and the 
purse-shaped nests in various stages of demo- 
lition bespoke previous years of occupancy. 

The boundaries of the farm need never to 
have been crossed to find the entire local fauna 
represented. The swamp thicket, which giew 
dense after the timber had been cut, was a re- 
sort for our smaller warblers, and many a de- 
siderata has been obtained from close search 
in its depths. In the adjoining woodland was 
found the roofed nest of that quaint little war- 
bler, the oven bird, and the frail construction 
of rootlets that serve for that gaudy south- 
erner, the scarlet tanager, and more than once 
I have flushed the grouse from her eggs, de- 
posited in a simple hollow amongst the dry 
leaves, without leaving the homestead of my 
birth. 

Down in a swamp grove at the farther 
boundary of the river meadow a pair of crows 
always nested, but it is simple justice to state 
that this particular pair of sable depredators 
never molested our young corn. It was too 
near their home for them to excite our wrath, 
though I must say our next neighbor was not 
so fortunate. One reminiscence connected 
with this pair of crows is too strongly im- 
pressed on my memory to be readily effaced. 
On one afternoon in early May I essayed to as- 
sault their stronghold. The nest was placed 
high in a swamp oak and I, then only a lad of 



twelve, had never attempted such a feat ot 
muscular exertion in the powers of ascension. 
Progress was slow and tiresome, but at last 
breathless and triumphant I threw my leg over 
the limb on which the nest was placed and 
gazed at the five olive green shaded and 
blotched eggs, while the discordant cavvings 
of the parent birds rang in my ears like the 
angry curses of a discomfited foe. How 
flushed with victory I felt as I glanced down 
the thirty feet to the ground below. Since that 
time I have spurred my way with climbers up 
the smooth trunk to a bald eagle's nest placed 
seventy-five feet from the cliffs on a dead pine 
at Frenchman's Bay, and have hung suspended 
by a rope three hundred feet above the angry 
breakers at the precipitous crags on Southern 
Head at Grand Manan, that I might find the 
homes of the puffin and black guillemot, but 
never with the same sense of pride in a suc- 
cessful achievement as at this, my first crow's 
nest. Removing my soft felt hat I caref.lly 
placed my treasures into it, and then came the 
equally difficult problem of a safe descent, but 
by closely hugging the trunk I slid slowly 
down, to the great detriment of my trousers, 
and stood at last safely on terra firma, when 
like a flash the fact came to me that up in that 
abominable nest I had left the eggs, together 
with my hat. Here let the curtain fall on the 
acme of my misery. 

On the farther side ot the swamp, in the 
"forty-acre" timber lot, the devastators of our 
poultry yard had their Homes. In this tract of 
heavy woodland, which was over half a mile 
long, I found the red-shouldered hawk and the 
coopers hawk, the hen and chicken hawk ot 
rural nomenclature, nesting in considerable 
numbers for rapacious birds. This was a se- 
cret which, however, I did not betray, for had 
I informed but one farmer of the locality the 
old birds would have been shot lrom their 
nests on the following Sunday. 

A paip of marsh harriers, those inoffensive 
hunters of frogs and mice, were once found 
nesting in the huckleberry pasture, for this spe- 
cies differs from its congeners in nesting on the 
ground, and when I indiscreetly showed my 
find to a neighbor's son, I was greeted the next 
afternoon by the sight of the female hawk 



NATURES REALM. 



43 



nailed to the side of the aforesaid neighbor's 
henhouse, and my opportunity for a further in- 
sight into the breeding habits of that particular 
pair of harriers was forever blasted. 
• Seasons have come and gone since I left my 
boyhood home and entered into the -strife in a 
great city, but the vision of my country life has 
been to me a delightful remembrance, ready at 
all times to respond to the beckon of memory's 
finger and sweeten my daily toil, and with a 
hope to renew some of the subtle influence of 
the surroundings of my early life, I left my of- 
fice one day last spring to revisit the old farm. 
As I alighted at the liHe country depot and 
started on my six-mile tramp my spirits grew 
buoyant, the fresh morning air and light sun 
drew melodies of praise trom countless song- 
sters, and I pictured in anticipation the old 
homestead as of yore, but alas ! when I drew 
near I regretted that I had parted with my 
birthright. A stranger courteously bafle me 
welcome, but my stay was short. The place 
seemed deserted. The boxes along the eaves 
of the crib were torn down, the flicker holes in 
the gables of the barn were covered by clap- 
boards and paint, and the huge chimney was 
replaced by a modern "box" one. He was 
considered a "progressive" farmer, yet I do 
not think the flash of the bluebird's wing at his 
corn crib, the twitter of the swallow in his 
barn, or the sociable swift in his chimney, 



would have retarded his progress. His mow- 
ing machine in the field was the juggernaut 
under which the bobolink and meadow lark 
were sacrificed, and I thought how, in the by- 
gone days, the little patches of grass left stand- 
ing by the sturdy, kind-hearted mower, be- 
tokened the unmolested homes of those ground 
breeders. 

The delightful old orchard, with its rree:- 
abounding in hollow limbs, yet fruitful as the 
new, was now no more, and where once stood 
the sturdy " pearmain," with that hollow in 
the centre of the trunk, from which I had taken 
one winter four screech owls, was now a sickly 
sapling of doubtful vitality but of great repute 
in the catalogue of its mercantile seller. The 
lofty trees, once the homes of my Buteos m the 
" forty-acre " lot, were lying in the form a 
boards and shingles at the sawmill hard by, 
and the brook which had its origin under their 
shadow, and had supplied our pasture with a 
never-failing stream, was now but a dry path, 
a trail of what had gone before, and as I turned 
away I wondered if aught remained as before, 
and as if in answer an ebon wing brushed 
through the stately elms and a crow, with a 
couple of king birds in full pursuit, flew toward 
the swamp with an egg impaled on his beak, 
and I even exulted that at least this crafty bird 
could hold his own in the struggle for existence 
against the other biped, genus homo. 



IN THE KINGDOM OF FROST 



Bv Charles Hallock 



In this present extraordinary winter season, 
when the antipodes seem to have exchanged 
places and climatic characteristics, meteorolog- 
ical surprises are constantly occurring, which, 
in the higher latitudes, are for the most part 
agreeable, whatever may be said ol the unusual 
frigid experiences of the southern districts. In 
Minnesota one of the most beautiful of these 
phenomena is the exquisite frost work which 
has on so many calm mornings already filled 
the landscape with the enchantment of Fairy- 
land. The prevailing characteristics of ordi- 
nary winters in that State have been clear, 
sunny days, with an atmosphere intensely cold 
and dry. Dampness is unknown and rain un- 
heard of. But this winter it rained continu- 
ously on the 31st day of December, and fogs 
have been of quite frequent occurrence in De- 
cember and January. 

Very much as in the early morning hours of 
August in Laurentian regions, where dense 
fogs settle down upon the valleys and lowlands, 
to be dissipated and burned off later on by the 
fervent sun, just so in Minnesota this winter a 
pall of heavy mist has fallen upon the earth 
with systematic regularity about 4 o'clock of 
mornings, with just sufficient moisture in its 
composition to crystallize all objects with a 
marvelous efflorescence when the temperature 
subsequently fell somewhat ; so that the first 
imperfect revelation of the opening twilight was 
what an emotional artist would appropriately 
call " a symphony in gray " — a dull, leaden sky, 
with a dead neutral tint, and everything else 
within sight as pallid and ghost-like as a church- 
yard full of grave stones. As the day advances 
and the light of dawn increases, the sky be- 
comes successively dove-colored, lavender and 
roseate, unfolding more and more with each 
transition the rapturous beauty of the land- 
scape, until finally the glancing rays of the 
risen sun light up the whole arcana with a 
glitter and glory too dazzling to behold, except 
with averted gaze. 



In this supreme moment the sky becomes in- 
tensely blue, and every line and touch of frost 
work on trees and shrubbery and telegraph 
wires are sharply cut against the cerulean 
background in tracery of intensest white, di- 
nning minutest twig and spray as they never 
were before. Grapevines and woodbines en- 
fold their trellises and arbors with crystal 
drapery. The tendrils of the weeping birch 
and willow depend like the sprays of fountains 
stilled in mid air. The meshes of lawn tennis 
nets, still standing as in summer days, vie in 
filmy texture with the finest Valenciennes lace. 
The massed lines of telegraph wire stand out 
in space overhead like the parallel threads of a 
weaver's loom. Here, there and t-verywhere 
the sunlight touches up the foliage and the 
sprays with prismatic hues which gleam and 
flash like gems in the pervading light ; and 
later on, when its waxing heat warms the frost 
work of the trees, it expands like the budding 
leaves of spring time, until they resemble pear 
and plum trees in fullest blossom. 

And all the while the air is so still and calm, 
and the sun so bright, and the sky so clear, 
that one does not realize the great degree of 
frost until his ears begin to tingle, and perad- 
venture, when he consults the thermometer, he 
finds the temperature at zero, though his body 
may be in a glow of warmth. 

These frost phenomena are sui generis. 
They are beautiful but harmless; more exqui- 
site than the ice and sleet phenomena of lower 
latitudes, which break the limbs which they 
bespangle, or the blankets of fresh-fallen snow 
which cover the trees in masses of whiteness, 
which obliterate instead of defining the handi- 
work of the objects which they envelope. Here 
the frost work of the fog touches up the trees 
with the most minute and exquisite tracery, 
while it clothes them with an efflorescence 
which is incomparable. There is nothing more 
delicately beautiful in Nature's realm. 



LokENE— A STORY OF A DOG 
Bn Samuel Parker. 



The prom istr ol a present, previously made 
me by a physician friend, had passed lrom my 
recollection, until one April morning an un- 
kempt lad from the village put in an appearance 
in the yard, carrying on his arm a little basket, 
which, with a broad grin illuminating his 
countenance, he deposited on the porch with 
the remark: 

" I've fetched ye thet pup 'at Doc. said he 
was goin' to give ye." 

Cuddled snugly within the basket was a 
dainty creature about the size of a boxing 
glove, with chubby paws, white and soft as er- 
mine fur, and enveloped in a soft luxurious 
coat of glossy while and liver-colored curls. 
Two gold-amber eyes blinked sleepily between 
a pair of silky ears which seemed ridiculously 
large for so petite a body, and a short, clean- 
cut nose completed the tout ensemble of the 
shaggy bundle which thenceforth responded 
obediently to the name of Lorene. 

Lorene was of the King Charles breed of 
water spaniels, and her aristocratic descent 
was conspicuous in her daily walk, and I might 
almost add conversation, for among her varied 
accomplishments that rational trait could well 
nigh have been included. Her amusive pranks 
threw children into raptures, but, with that in- 
tuitive perception peculiar to sensitive natures, 
Lorene was endowed with the rare faculty of 
tempering her deportment in strict conformity 
to existing environments, and in the society of 
her adult admirers her manners were becom- 
ingly sedate and deferential ; she accepted 
their caresses with an air as demure and 
modest as a convent nun. The eager fondness 
for sylvan diversions which was developed at 
an early period in her career discovered a de- 
cided penchant for the romantic, for she had 
an Indian's passion for the woods and she 
would disport herself in the water as graceful 
as a mermaid. 

Perhaps a mutual tinge of this same spirit ot 
romanticism was the medium which prompted 
Lorene and her master to those frequent and 
delightful peregrinations amid the charms of 



outdoor nature, and made them so familiar 
with the fern-bordered paths of shady woods 
vocal with the enchanting whistle of wild birds 
and the songful harmony of meandering 
waters. I remark that it was perhaps a mu- 
tual tinge of romanticism that prompted these 
gypsy excursions, since in this severely prosaic 
and practical age, when " red-lined accounts are 
richer than the songs of Grecian years " ; when 
beneath the austere and withering frown of sci- 
ence beauty stands abashed ; when the win- 
some music of the bells of Fairyland is floating 
faintly like dream-remembered voices from the 
realm of myths, an open confession to a predi- 
lection of sentiment might be regarded as an 
unpardonable weakness. 

Fortified, however, by the assumption that 
"all good men love dogs," I am led to chron- 
icle a few of the most salient features in the 
disposition of this devoted companion of my 
rambles, trusting, moreover, that every gentle 
reader may likewise be disposed to the belief 
that, in common with poetry, music and the 
ideal arts, the pure well-springs of Nature are 
the divine sources from whence the fleeting 
generations fashion their pictures of Heaven, 
and which inspire their home-wandering souls 
with that sweetly persuasive and ethereal spirit 
of adoration that forever tends to keep their 
faces upward. 

Pictures of natural beauty that would have 
delighted the artistic eye of a Claude Lorraine, 
and over which the genius of a Byron or Burns 
would have thrown an unfading glory, revert 
to memory's eye in recalling the varied and 
congenial haunts wherein it was Lorene and 
her master's chief delight to wander. Sweep- 
ing expanses of Indian summer woods, haze- 
dimmed and vivid with the crimson tide from 
autumn's broken heart ; night-enshrouded 
fields, lragrant with the dewy odor of clover 
bloom and illuminated with the floating lamps 
of the fire-flies ; winding grass-grown roads, 
hazel-fringed and blazing with the sumach's 
fire, leading to marshy springs in pensive forest 
depths, where the shrill and piercing call of the 



46 



XA Tl r R£TS REALM. 



cicada, dying away into an exquisitely pro- 
longed and dreamful cadence, alone disturbed 
the drowsy spirit of solitude reposing on mossy 
banks ; the mystical and dream-engendering 
glory of summer clouds looming serenely in 
voluminous and placid mounds of amber above 
the green ocean of evening woods, with the 
waning splendor of sunset deepening into pur- 
ple dusk, and the silvery voice ot the hermit- 
thrush sanctifying the twilight hours till "the 
place became religion," imbuing my spirit with 
a lofty veneration for the Supreme Power whose 
superior intelligence alone conceived these 
spiritual and soul-appealing tokens ; by whose 
listening ear the cricket's melody is timed, and 
who walketh the floors of the midnight on an 
air-woven carpet spangled with worlds. 

My statement previously ventured, investing 
Lorene with romantic propensities, may appear 
somewhat extravagant, but is by no means an 
idle fancy. The expression of her countenance 
was unusually handsome and intelligent, and 
her soft brown eyes were characterized by that 
dreamy pensiveness peculiar to impressible 
natures, while her delicate and exquisitely- 
proportioned form was cast in what artists 
would term a classic mould. She abhorred 
the bustle and confusion of the town, and fre- 
quently, when her artful and coaxing blandish- 
ments failed to lure her master to the woods or 
fields for an evening ramble, she would sally 
forth alone, returning at late twilight with her 
silken ringlets drenched with dew. During a 
tempest she loved to sit by a window intently 
watching the tossing trees outside and listen- 
ing to the wild music of the pattering rain. On 
summer nights her favorite place of repose was 
in her own hammock, swung low beneath the 
maples, with moonbeams quivering among the 
boughs, and where whippoorwillsand katydids 
kept up their sweetly weird and unceasing 
serenade. 

Lorene's aristocratic nature was perceptible 
in many ways. She was a dainty feeder, and, 
although of a gentle and tender disposition and 
deeply imbued with a love of Nature, she was not 
Brahminical, and her menu consisted largely 
of meats ; but she was passionately fond of all 
the various fruits of the season, and, when 
berries or grapes were not forthcoming, she 



would occasionally regale herself on the choicest 
specimens of snow apples selected from among 
the windfalls in the orchard. With dogs, 
"mongrel, puppy, whelp and hound, and 
curs of low degree," Lorene attempted no fa- 
miliarity beyond a mere friendly recognition — 
a bowing acquaintance, so to speak ; and, with 
the exception of a handsome Maltese cat, who 
was both by blood and complexion decidedly 
blue, her attachments were mainly confined to 
the human family. 

It requires no depth of reflection to perceive 
that, had Lorene, with her refined and delicate 
sensibilities, her gentle and sympathetic nature, 
been possessed of human attributes, she would 
have been what the world denominates a 
dreamer. But what of that ? Is not the great 
fabric of human achievement spun and woven 
from the loom of dreams ? Sure am I withal 
that, had her quiet habits of observation, her 
quick sense ot beauty, been combined with the 
faculty of reason, she would have mourned 
over the desolation being wrought by that un- 
restrained and ruthless spirit of vandalism so 
characteristic of the present century, and 
which, with an unfeeling recklessness, is pros- 
trating the majestic forests and robbing the 
hillsides of their crowning glory, thus disfig- 
uring the face of our fair land and reversing- 
the climatic conditions of Nature, to the great 
detriment of mankind — the same spirit of van- 
dalism that has strewn the western plains with 
millions of buffalo, leaving the carcasses to the 
sport of the wind and wolves, and in conse- 
quence of which to-day the appealing plaint of 
an impoverished nation is heard invoking the 
advent of a Messiah to lead them Moses-like 
from their destitution and their misery, and to 
restore to them the bounteous heritage of an- 
cient power. 

Often on beholding Lorene the central figure 
in a bevy of delighted children, when the us- 
ually sober and languid gravity of her manner 
had relaxed into a spirit of playfulness, have I 
regretted that she was not in truth a rational 
creature, for then she could have regaled her 
juvenile friends with many a winsome story 
leathered from her woodland rambles — of the 
hornet's nest among the raspberry vines which 
she had so inadvertently brushed against, and 



\ {TURPS A'F.U.U 



47 



of the wild stampede of both dog and master 
with a score of the pugnacious inmates in hot 
pursuit ; of the cunning chipmunk which 
eluded her so adroitly, escaping to its lair in 
the mossy log ; of the clever ruse of the part- 
ridge with the broken wing which tolled her 
so deceitfully from the spot where her skulking 
babes lay concealed among the withered leaves. 
But she would have refrained from grieving 
their hearts with an account of the tragcd\ 
in the plum thicket — the doves nest on the 
branch containing two little skeletons, with 
the mutilated remains of the mother bird on 
the sod below. The vandal had been there 
with his gun. 

Lorene's fondness for the society of children 
was one of the leading traits in her character, 
and I think the following incident will serve to 
show that she likewise entertained a favorable 
opinion of those amiable and time-honored su- 
perstitions which tend only to brighten the 
morning of their existence, and to which the 
ministry throughout the land, being aware that 
" even religion delights in shadows and dis- 
guises," kindly lends the stamp of its approval. 

One autumn day Lorene crouched at her 
master's heels on the pavement of a little west- 
ern city, where a large concourse of people 
were assembled gazing at Barnum's street pro- 
cession, which presented a spectacle brilliant 
and imposing. With stately pomp the gilded 
band chariot, drawn by plumed and bedizened 
horses, passed along with a flourish of trum- 
pets and drums, followed by the open dens of 
lions, tigers and leopards. Then came ambling 
along the solemn elephants with their bespan- 
gled housings, and next the haughty and dis- 
dainful camels, those antique specimens from 
the Orient that knew Egypt before the Sphinx's 
shadow darkened the desert sands, came 
swinging by with their lurching and ungainly 
strides, and disappeared from view around the 
square. But whence the source of the sudden 
conr.motion, the clapping of tiny hands, the 
eager and rapturous applause of delighted 
children, which now breaks the spell of silent 
wonder hitherto maintained among the crowded 
mass of humanity thronging the walks ? Santa 
Claus, with his sleigh and reindeers, his robes 
of fur, his flowing, snow-white hear/1 and hair 



and his beaming and benevolent countenance, 
which for generations has charmed the dreams 
of youth and innocence in every land. It is 
little wonder that with the juvenile chorus was 
mingled the voice of Lorene, for the handsome 
collar that adorned her neck had been clasped 
there by childish hands, with the solemn as- 
surance that it came as a gift from this same 
father saint ; and truly it would require a deep 
philosophy to persuade her master that the 
lusty barking of Lorene on this occasion was 
provoked by the extremely bizarre appearance 
of the hoary benefactor's turnout, or the gamy 
scent of his reindeers, and not by her righteous 
and unqualified approval of the general enthu- 
siasm along the line. 

In justice to the memory of Lorene, it would 
ill become her master to indite a fabulous ac- 
count of her character, or in any way to over- 
estimate her qualities. Be it enough to say 
that the history is proceeding within the 
bounds of strict veracity. She was indeed 
an accomplished creature, and most sincerely 
have I deplored the dumb limitation which de- 
nied her the power of language, for her long 
familiarity with those scenes of natural and 
romantic beauty as seen by wood and river, 
and in view of her superior intelligence, her 
conversation would have lent an edifying charm 
to our solitary excursions, and served, per- 
chance, to throw an occasional gleam of light 
on those subtle and elusive mysteries of Nature 
which stir the heart to its profoundest depths, 
but which apparently the eye alone can inter- 
pret. 

Then, too, had Lorene indeed been endowed 
with speech and reason, with what a fine in- 
dignation, methinks, she would have inveighed 
against the perverted tenets of that Russian 
Count across the water, whose intellect exhales 
a philosophy as rigorous as his own Siberian 
plains, and who would fain restrict the soaring 
aspirations of mankind to his own narrow views 
of human destiny, and to whose unresponsive 
ears the enthralling spirit of music and the 
pleading whispers of Nature are alike un- 
meaning sounds. While themes essentially 
relating to the wondrous glories of Nature 
would chiefly have engrossed the mind of Lor- 
ene had she h< < n graced with the power of 



48 



NATURE'S REALM. 



human understanding, her keenly susceptible 
organization would likewise have responded 
asolian-like to the witching and heart-consoling 
influences of poetry and music, and, in the face 
of an unnatural and hostile philosophy, she 
would have dared to cherish and protect the 
winsome darlings — those radiant and charmful 
daughters of Heaven who place the world's 
misgivings and doubts in the cradle of dreams 
and rock them hopefully and tenderly to sleep. 

The peaceful tenor of Lorene's existence, 
covering a period of five years, was broken 
only by the cloud of bereavement occasioned 
by an eight months' separation from her mas- 
ter. Arriving home one balmy May morning 
from my position on the frontier, whither I had 
been recalled the previous September, I came 
suddenly upon Lorene lying on the grass be- 
neath an apple tree at the farthest end of the 
orchard, where she had long been accustomed 
to await my return trips from the village. 
Unmindful of her presence, the ever-confiding 
robins were tilting about in close proximity, 
but a pair of suspicious blue jays hovering 
among the blossomed limbs were pouring forth 
a torrent of scolding imprecations on the 
bundle of sleeping innocence beiovv. 

My approach had been unobserved by Lor- 
ene, and the shock of glad surprise occasioned 
by my abrupt appearance on the scene appar- 
ently transfixed her to the spot, till, in response 
to the familiar sound of the call whistle, the 
affectionate creature sprang to her feet, and, 
struggling precipitately through a convenient 
aperture in the fence, she advanced crouch- 
ingly and tremblingly to my side. There was 
a human suggestiveness in the expression of 
her countenance as she approached, and her 
soft and eloquent eyes seemed to melt in their 
eager, yet half uncertain intensity ; but at the 
mere mention of her name all doubts vanished, 
and, apparently impelled by a sudden and un- 
controllable ebullition of ecstacy, she bounded 
away like a meteor in the direction of the 
house, where, after loud rejoicings through 
parlor and hall, to the great dismay of mother, 
she scampered back to the presence of her 
master, and, darting frantically around him in 
a circle until completely exhausted, she sank 
panting at his feet. 



One night, a week following my arrival, 
Lorene reposed by my side on a couch of 
blankets spread upon the banks of a forest- 
bound and pickerel-haunted lake, situated near 
the beautiful Cedar River — so near, indeed, that 
our ears could catch the sound of its rhythmic 
volume, the while its loitering waters dallied 
with the guardian banks or whispered their 
romantic legends to the constant stars. The 
quiet loneliness ot my surroundings was 
singularly congenial, but in striking contrast 
to that of the untamed wilderness which I had 
so lately quitted. No shrill neighing and 
thunderous tread of stampeded pony herds dis- 
turbed the sober serenity of my reflections; no 
plumed and painted Indians danced and 
shouted to the rude music of a tom-tom in the 
lurid glare of diminutive bonfires ; no women 
mourned on the hills ; no wolves howled, but, 
instead, the witching spirit of silence was 
broken by no harsher sound than the soft re- 
frain of the whippoorwills, the weird nocturne 
of the frogs in their bullrush beds, and the 
dreamful monotone of the incoming waves 
laving with musical murmurs the long stretches 
of pebbled shores. Among the myriads of 
gleaming constellations which sparkled in the 
vaulted space above was the ruddy face of 
Mars, a luminary in respect to which the re- 
cent perusal of a thoughtful and attractive ar- 
ticle from the pen of that engaging writer, 
Camille Flammarion, had impressed me with 
an interest curious and profound. Can it be, I 
mused, that that far distant sphere, that scin- 
tillating jewel in the crown of night, is peopled 
with intelligent beings like ourselves ? Do 
populous cities there rear their lofty spires and 
domes toward a sky as blue and loving as our 
own ? Do stately vessels ride at anchor in its 
harbors and bear their merchandise from port 
to port? Do the winters heap their drifting 
snows and blooming summers toss their wealth 
of roses with the same unfailing order as those 
of earth ? Is the sacred calm of its twilight 
broken by the solemn harmony of cathedral 
bells, and does the blessed sunlight of day 
stream through the oriel windows and fall in 
painted shadows on the sculptured forms of 
saints and kneeling angels there ? Do the 
midnight wmds grieve among the boughs of 



.V. / II RES REALM. 



49 



weeping willows drooping over graves ? Is the 
poetry of Heaven discoursed to listening mul- 
titudes by the silver tongue of a Tahnage ? 
But the only answer to these vagrant lucubra- 
tions was the peaceful breathing of Lorene at 
my side and the wild call of the loons from the 
whispering reeds. 

But, in reviewing the pleasant period of 
recreation experienced by this sylvan lake, 
there comes a poignant tinge of regret, for it 
was there that the faithful companion of my 
wanderings contracted the malady which event- 
ually resulted in her untimely death. Through- 
out the greater portion of the day previous to 
our departure in the evening, Lorene, with an 
unusual and superabundant exuberance of 
spirits, was constantly in motion, leaping ex- 
ultingly along the banks or making short and 
rapid excursions through the outlying woods, 
anon returning and plunging gladsomely into 
the cold bosom of the lake. A crampy stiffness 
of her limbs resulted from this violent exertion, 
succeeded by internal inflammation, which 
shortly culminated in death. But during the 
period of emaciation and misery she displayed 
a fortitude and patience under affliction worthy 
of human emulation. 

In the evening, a few hours preceding her 
death, Lorene left her Couch and limped leebly 
to the orchard in search of certain herbs and 
grasses to which her instinct invariably led her 



to resort when affected with any of the mala- 
dies peculiar to her species, and it was while 
thus emplcyed that her strength suddenly for- 
sook her, for she was then a mere shadow of 
her former self, and she sank helpless in the 
path. When, gently and tenderly, I took the 
shivering creature in my arms and again 
placed her on her couch of rugs, I knew that 
the period of Lorene's anguish would be brief, 
for the wistful and imploring gaze from the 
fast dimming eyes that followed my receding 
form to the door said as plainly as language 
could have spoken : " Please don't leave me, 
master; it cannot be long now." That night, 
with the low melody of falling rain on the roof 
of the house (as if Mother Nature, moved to 
compassion for her sufferings, was weeping 
softly), Lorene passed quietly away — quietly, I 
am sure, tor her couch bore no trace of those 
contortions which often accompany the agonies 
of dissolution. One flossy ear alone was up- 
turned above the border of the protecting wrap, 
and the reposeful expression of her countenance 
suggested naught but a peaceful sleep. The 
gust of emotion, however, which I experienced 
on beholding the inanimate form of my little 
favorite was dispelled bv the candid reflection 
that Lorene had passed to that bourne which, 
somewhere amid the interminable realms of 
space, the (iod of Nature hath mercifully pro- 
vided for all of his creatures. 



He is indeed poor who has no part or inter- 
est in the riches of Nature ; who sees in the 
graceful elm and sturdy oak only the thousands 
of feet of boards they will yield ; who reckons 
in the fragrant field of clover no value save the 
tons of hay it will produce ; who catches the 
scent of the hemlock only with the thought of 
stripping off its bark for the tan yard. Of such 
an one it has been written : 

"The primrose on the river's brim 
A yellow primrose was to him, 
And it was nothing more." 

It would be better for us if we could sometimes 
forget the fulness of the harvest to listen to the 
rustle of the corn ; better if we could leave the 
table, the market and the town behind us to 
get a breath from the fields and a tonic from 
the forest. 

The path that leads to a knowledge of the 
vegetable world is so enticing that the wonder 
is so few follow it. We go about the earth 
trampling under foot the delicate gifts placed 
here for our instruction and enjoyment, taking 
little note of the beauties and wonders of our 
woods and meadows, or gardens and orchards, 
our walls and fences. The mosses and lich- 
ens — those delicate couches of the tairies — 
adorn the trees and rocks, but to our dull eyes 
they are but stains or spots of mold. The 
bloom creeps up the stalk of the foxglove, but 
we do not notice it. The flowers and grasses 
are wet with dew, but we are not interested to 
know whence or how it came. The pansies 
and sunflowers each morning face the god of 
day, and their eyes follow him in his course 
until he sinks in the west, but this delicate act 
of homage is lost on us. We recognize in the 
substance of our bedsteads and bureaus the 
ash, the walnut or the cherry, but in the forest 
where they are growing we cannot distinguish 
them or enumerate their charming character- 
istics and differences. We attend the flower 
shows in the city and go into raptures over the 
orchids and chrysanthemums, but fail to real- 
ize that the blossom of the common potato is 
perhaps as beautiful as anything that grows. 



VEGETABLE LIFE. 

Bv Arthur F. RicB. 

It is said that every man should have a 



hobby of some sort. If this is true, could our 
leisure time be more innocently or profitably 
employed than in replacing our ignorance of 
these things with an intelligence concerning 
them ? 

"If thou wouldst read a lesson that will keep 
Thy heart from fainting and thy soul from sleep, 
Go to the woods and hills ! No tears 
Dim the sweet look that Nature wears." 

Robbed of the similes and metaphors drawn 
from the vegetable kingdom, literature in gen- 
eral, and poetry in particular, would lose much 
of its grace and significance. The scriptures 
are full of allusions to the trees and flowers. 
The Cedars of Lebanon, the Rose of Sharon, 
the Lilies of the field and the Hyssop on the 
wall, are but familiar examples of the many 
instances where these fair creations have 
helped to crystallize historic facts or aid the 
imagination in its flights. Scarcely less dear 
to us are the daisy of Wordsworth and the pine 
tree of Emerson. Many of the most charming 
poems of Bryant, Longfellow, Lowell and 
Whittier have laid the meadows and the groves 
under heavy tribute for the thoughts and fan- 
cies they contain. What a mutilation of their 
fair pages it would cause to efface what they 
have written of the trees and shrubs, the ferns 
and flowers, and even the grasses and the 
weeds. 

A volume might be written on the poetic 
customs, the traditions and superstitions con- 
nected with certain trees and plants. It would 
tell how it was customary among certain Indian 
tribes to plant a shrub to keep in remembrance 
absent children and to show the state of their 
health ; how the Iroquois believed that there 
were spirits of the corn and squashes who must 
be propitiated to insure good crops ; how the 
Upas tree of Java was supposed to be deadly 
in its influences, so that it was fatal to sleep 
under it, and even the birds that alighted in it 
were overcome by its poisonous exhalations ; 
how the Lotus of the Nile had so potent an ef- 
fect upon those who ate of its leaves that they 




Till: I'OIS IN-lhKK Ok UlAb • >l JAVA, 



52 



NATURES REALM. 



were content to remain there lorever, forgetful 
of home and friends ; how the willow was sup- 
posed to be typical of sadness and the cypress 
of mourning; how the juniper was considered 
the emblem of faith and its fruit a charm to 
protect the dead from evil ; how the holly be- 
came consecrated to the festivities of winter, 
and the myrtle was dedicated to Venus and be- 
came the prize for beauty ; how the charming 
tradition of the mistletoe came into existence, 
and a thousand other equally delightful myths 
which have perfumed the pnges of literature 
with the scent of leaves and blossoms. Through 
the entire range of the classics these thoughts 
run like a thread of gold, and as we read the 
divine Theocritus and sit with him " under the 
whispering pine by the side of the murmuring 
fountain," we can almost delude ourselves into 
the belief that the forest is still tenanted by the 
Dryads and wood nymphs, and that some- 
where within its shade the Naiad sports, dis- 
pensing to the thirsty earth the water she has 
" garnered from the skies." 

To those of a practical turn of mind these 
things may seem trivial and visionary, but Na- 
ture is broad enough for all, and those who 
prefer an appeal to their perceptions rather 
than to their imagination may find an ample 
field for observation. The respiration and cir- 
culation of plants, the generation of oxygen and 
the absorption of carbonic acid, which render 
each plant an instrument for purifying the air ; 
the relation of the temperature to vegetation 
and the effects upon the soil, climate and water 
supply which arise from ihe destruction of our 
forests, may prove to be studies of absorbing 
interest to the most exacting mind. 

Nature's methods of dispersing her seeds 
and perpetuating her species are most inge- 
nious. The breezes of Heaven, the birds of the 
air, the beasts of the field, the rivers and ocean 
currents, are all her servants, and they do their 
work thoroughly. The down of the thistle and 
the winged seed of the maple sail off through 
the air far from the parent stem. The burrs 
and clinging seeds are carried miles in the 
wool of sheep and goats, And the fur of bears 
and foxes. The lines of oak, hickory and but- 
ternut trees growing along the stone walls and 
fences are the work of the squirrels. The 



birds, however, are the most active and uni- 
versal agents in scattering seeds. It is said 
that the vegetation which covers the ruins of 
the Coliseum at Rome — from the grass grow- 
ing in the crevices of the walls to the fig tree 
whose huge roots have split the arches — can be 
directly traced to the birds. The rivers and 
the oceans are thoroughfares along which the 
germs of vegetable life travel in their migra- 
tions. Pouchet informs us that cocoanuts have 
floated four hundred miles to Malabar ; nuts 
from equatorial America are often stranded on 
the shores of Scandinavia, and seeds from 
Guiana and Brazil have at last found a resting 
place on the banks of the Congo in Africa ; 
species of mountain plants have been carried 
by the glaciers, and streams born of them, from 
the summits of the Alps to the plains of Mu- 
nich, from the Andes to the islands of Orinoco, 
and from the Himalayas to the delta of the 
Ganges. 

The vitality of certain seeds is marvelous. 
Wheat found within the cerements of an 
Egyptian mummy has been known to sprout 
and grow, and from soil which has been taken 
from deep excavations strange weeds have 
sprung up. In the resources of Nature pro- 
vision seems to have been made, in case of the 
destruction of a species, to replace it with an- 
other. If a pine forest is cut down an oak for- 
est almost immediately usurps the ground it 
occupied. 

In the relation existing between vegetation 
and the seasons there seems to be something 
almost human — something applicable to our 
own lives, our birth, maturity, death, and even, 
perhaps, our resurrection. Spring is the sea- 
son of babyhood. The soil is congested and 
expands to meet the growing wants of the 
swelling seeds and tender radicles. The melt- 
ing snows and gentle rains, which dissolve and 
make digestible the solids they require, are 
the milk which sustains their young lives. In 
the fields and pastures on an early spring 
morning one may hear a gentle supping sound, 
as of many tiny mouths drinking. It is the 
nursing time of the plants and grasses. From 
the breast of Mother Earth they draw and fill 
themselves, absorbing the nourishment for 
their growth and vigor. Summer is the radi- 



V \ TURPS REALM 



53 



ant season ol youth ami beauty aim\ luxuriant 
strength, of warmth, color, Fragrance and 
bright promise of a rich harvest later on. 
Autumn is the period of maturity and perfec- 
tion. The flowers are gone but the fruit has 
come. The blushing tints and fragrance of 
the apple blossom have been transformed and 
re-distilled into the color and flavor of the ripe 
fruit. The sweet forces of Nature have ex- 
pended themselves and the consummation is 
at hand. Hut the fading leaves of autumn are 
like the gray hairs of age, forerunners of decay 
and death. Soon the earth claims her own 
again, and the soft, white mantle of winter — 
the winding sheet of the plants and grasses — 
hides the vegetable world from our sight. Vet, 
under this canopy of seeming death, the mys- 
terious processes of a new life are going on. 
Almost before the dead leaves have fallen, the 
new buds — hermetically sealed against the 
cold — are forming for another season of leafage 
and bloom. The yearly miracle is again per- 
formed ; the shrubs and flowers rise from their 
long sleep clothed anew and in fresh garments. 
Who shall say that this transition from appa- 
rent death is not the type and solution of that 



higher problem which concerns our own death 
and immortality ! 

He ia the richest man who gets the most 
pleasure out of simple and natural things, 
whose love for and knowledge of them has en- 
larged to the uttermost his capacity for enjoy- 
ment. He who goes forth into the fields and 
forests with senses alive to the beauties and 
marvels about him ; whose ear is attuned to 
the lisp of the leaves and the sweet, sad song 
of the pines ; in whose nostrils the pungent 
scent of sun-seethed ferns and the divine odor 
of the arbutus act as delightful restoratives ; 
whose eye is charmed with the silver sheen of 
the poplar, the spot of flame where the wild 
honeysuckle blossoms on the ledge, and the 
lowly dandelion "fringing the dusty road with 
harmless gold ; " such a man surely possesses 
an antidote for melancholy and a never-failing 
means of gratifying his highest instincts. 
Others may starve their souls in too strict an 
attention to practical pursuits, or grow lean in 
the search for what the world chooses to call 
pleasure, but 

" He oa honey dew hath fed, 
\nd drank tfe milk of Paradi-i- " 



It has not been my lot to tread 

Along the paths of glorious Time, 
Where buried lie the immortal dead 

Who flourished in Earth's natal prime. 
Not mine to muse on Helicon, 

Nor walk in rapturous reverie, 
Where " the mountains look on Marathon 

And Marathon looks on the sea." 
Not mine to catch the Muses' strains 
Above the moist Boeotian plains, 
Nor listen, with my soul on fire, 
To rapt Apollo's rhythmic lyre. 

But I have walked where none but God 

Had gazed the enchanted scene along, 
Where never human foot had trod 

The dim-aisled, forest shades among. 
Where rocky ramparts rose around, 

Aspiring to the height of Heaven. 
I've stood 'mid silence so prolound, 

It seemed that to my eyes 'twere given 
To see Earth in her primal morn, 
Ere sound and life and love were born — 
Have seemed to lose all sense of space 
And meet my Maker face to face. 

Within those peaceful solitudes 

No " Thanatopsis " e'er is heard 
But Nature's mighty interludes 

And Nature's God's omnific word ; 
For, as in Eden, long ago, 

He walked at evening's fragrant hour, 
So here, 'neath mellow sunset's glow, 

Show lair the footprints of His power, 
Where rotting rock yields to the touch 
Of rootlets' soil-creating clutch, 
While bright the snow-capped summits shine 
Above the ascending timber line. 

Each breeze, each rain drop, and each ray 
That streams from forth the vernal sun, 

Speaks of a resurrection day 
And tells of labor just begun. 

In these new Edens of the earth 

No graves are found — all. all is life, 



WHERE ALL IS LIFE. 

By John P. Silvernail. 

Even as when Time first had its birth, 

Ere brother's hand was raised in strile. 
Prithivi-like the earth brings forth 
All forms of grace and matchless worth, 
While everything breathes prophecv 
Of something yet about to be. 

Thro' all her frame'th' embracing Gbi 

Sends thrills of wondrous ecstacy, 
Till, all transformed, the lifeless clod 

Smiles, blooms and brightens gloriously. 
Glad flowers spring with fragrant breath, 

And climbing vine and budding tree 
Proclaim such triumph over death 

That song birds wake their minstrelsy ; 
Each leaf responds to zephyr soft, 
The torrent lifts its voice aloft, 
While everything in Nature saith : 
" There is no death ! there is no death ! " 



Never, where ruined empire sleeps, 

And buried greatness, turned to dust. 
Still its unbroken silence keeps 

'Neath storied urn or marble bust, 
May it be mine to walk and dream, 

Recalling all their vanished pride, 
Until once more to live they seem, 

And walk in grandeur at my side ; 
Nor where the radiant sons of men 
Have been resolved to earth again, 
Till earth seems but the burial place 
Of Adam's sin-cursed, mortal race. 

But oh ! what joy to breathe the air 

Where God's unfinished gardens shine. 
Where myriad forms rise new and fair 

Beneath His touch divine ; 
To watch a new creation spring 

Where funeral dirge was never sung, 
And hear resounding echoes ring 

The mountain crags among, 
While glaciers grind their grist of rock 
'Mid avalanche roar and earthquake shock. 
Till Nature's transformation scene 
Shows rocky ranges robed in green. 



THE CUCKOO— A MYSTERIOUS BIRD. 
By T. O. Rvssku . 



Thrift: welcome, darling <>t the Spring, 

Ever yet thon art to me. 
No bird, but an invisible thini;, 

A voice, a mystery — Wordnootth 

With the exception of the lark and the night- 
ingale, no European bird has had so much said 
and written about it as the cuckoo. While its 
musical performances are much inferior to 
those of the two well-known singers mentioned, 
its song being monotonous and unvaried, it 
may be classed among the most extraordinary 
*and interesting birds. In many ways it is most 
peculiar. It may not possess the curious shape 
of the Australian dodo, but its habits are 
stranger and more mysterious than those of 
any other well known bird. In the habits of 
no animal is the all-powerful mastery of in- 
stinct so fully manifested. 

The habits and mannerisms of the cuckoo 
have been more acutely observed than perhaps 
those of any other bird. For thousands of 
years naturalists have been trying to under- 
stand and explain its mysterious ways, but have 
not.fully succeeded. There yet remain many 
impenetrable and seemingly never-to-be-un- 
derstood mysteries connected with it. Enough 
about it has, however, been found out to prove 
that it is the bird of the strangest habits known 
to men. It seems curious that European 
naturalists have not long ago succeeded in 
finding out everything connected with the 
cuckoo. W r ere it a native of America, it is 
safe to presume that more would now be known 
about it, for Audubon alone would have de- 
voted years to the study of its habits, and 
would have solved every mystery connected 
with it, if they were capable of solution. 

The cuckoo {Cuculus candrus, Linnaeus) is 
found almost all over the continent of Europe, 
but its habits in those countries popularly 
known as the British Isles shall only be men- 
tioned here. We know that its habits and pe- 
culiarities are the same, or nearly the same, all 
over the rest of Europe. 

A native of this continent can hardly realize 
the charm of the notes of the cuckoo. From a 
musical point of view there is not much in 



them, but the name cf the bird is evidently 
onomatopoetic; that is, formed from the sounds 
emitted by it, and this name is the same, or 
nearly the same, in the languages of all the 
countries it frequents. The two notes are ut- 
tered with such wonderful softness that ihey 
are really harmonious and pleasing, but they 
derive their principal charm from the time of 
the year in which they are heard, for the song 
of the cuckoo is a sure harbinger of summer. 
It is heard in that most delightful period of the 
year when the spring is ripening into the glory 
of summer. The first notes of the cuckoo al- 
ways cause a sensation of delight. They seem 
to say : " The glory of the year is at hand. I 
bring summer with me." 

The cuckoo is about the size of the common 
American wood pigeon, and is much of the 
same color, only not quite so blue. It never 
varies a week in the time it makes its appear- 
ance every year, which for Great Britain and 
Ireland may be set down as about the 25th of 
April. In Southern Europe it appears a month 
or so earlier. It remains only six or seven 
weeks, and is rarely heard after the 10th of 
June. Toward the end of its sojourn its voice 
becomes hoarse and disagreeable, very differ- 
ent from the rich, mellow tones, it uttered on 
its arrival. After it has ceased to sing it is 
rarely seen. Where it comes from or where it 
goes to seems still a matter of doubt. It evi- 
dently passes the winter in some southern 
climes south of the Mediterranean, probably in 
Egypt, Algiers and the adjacent countries, but 
it sings only in Europe. It would seem that 
there is no positive proof that it spends the 
winter in the countries mentioned. Birds, 
however, resembling cuckoos have been seen 
in them in winter, but whether they are really 
cuckoos or not is open to a good deal of doubt. 

The cuckoo's sole object in visiting Europe 
is to breed, and here we become acquainted 
with one of the most extraordinary habits oi 
this mysterious bird, for it makes no nest, but 
deposits its egg or eggs in the nest of some 
other bird to be hatched. Why it does this. 



56 



NATURES REALM. 



why it does not make a nest like any other 
bird, is the mystery of mysteries about the 
cuckoo. It may be said that the short time it 
remains in Europe (only about six or seven 
weeks) prevents it from building a nest and 
from hatching its young. But why does it stay 
so short a time ? If it can live in a northern 
clime for six or seven weeks, why can it not 
live for six months ? These are questions that 
never have been solved, and probably never 
will. If it be a bird that can onlv exist in n 



a country bird ; it never builds in houses, and 
is never seen in towns or cities. This is favor- 
able for the cuckoo, for it is a shy bird, and is 
never seen in, and seldom near, towns or vil- 
lages. It has been proven beyond any doubt 
that the cuckoo sometimes puts its egg in a 
nest placed in such a position that it could not 
possibly lay the egg in it. Cuckoos have been 
seen to lay their eggs on the ground and then 
carry them in their bills and place them in the 
ne<;t of the bird that was to hatch nut the 




The Cri koo 



warm climate, it is a strange thing that it does 
not go to northern latitudes in the hot weather, 
but leaves them just when the heat is begin- 
ning. 

It is in the nest of the hedge sparrow that 
the cuckoo generally lays or deposits its eggs, 
and, so far as has been discovered, it never 
puts more than one egg in any nest. It puts 
eggs in the nests of other birds, but the unfor- 
tunate and stupid hedge sparrow is the favorite 
foster mother to which the cuckoo usually 
gives the rearing of its young. The hedge 
sparrow is not known in America. It is larger 
and darker than the now well-known English 
sparrow, which has become such a pest in our 
large cities. The hedge sparrow is essentially 



young stranger. It is a well-known fact that 
shortly after the young cuckoo leaves the shell 
it has the whole nest to itself. It ejects the 
young of the bird that owns the nest by taking 
them on its back, pushing them out and letting 
them drop on the ground, where they soon 
perish, and the young interloper then receives 
the entire attention of the foster parent. Here, 
perhaps, is the most extraordinary instance of 
precocious instinct in all Nature. The young 
cuckoo is generally, in fact always, twice as 
large as the young of the bird in whose nest it 
is hatched, and it requires much more food. 
The foster mother would never be able to at- 
tend to its wants and the wants of her own 
progeny, so they are unceremoniously ejected 



NATURE'S REALM. 



57 



in order that the wants of the interloper may 
be fully attended to. 

It is not known exactly what time the young 
cuckoos leave Europe. They have been seen 
in the fall of the year full-fledged, and as large 
as the parent birds when they arrived in May. 
Not being gregarious and never appearing in 
large numbers, it is no easy thing to trace 
their emigration from the country of their birth. 
Never more than two are seen together or in 
the same locality. These would hardly be no- 
ticed were it not for their well-known song, so 
different from that of all other birds in the 
countries where they breed. The young cuckoos 
never sing during the first year of their lives ; 
it is not until the next spring, when they return 
to the country in which they were born, that 
their well-known and welcome notes are heard, 
the harbingers of summer. 

There is hardly an instance known of any 
other bird emigrating by itself and unaccom- 
panied by its parents, or at least by older birds 
of the same species. But the young cuckoo 
has no other bird to steer its course for it 
over the pathless sea. It goes by itself, guided 
by that unerring instinct which, the more it is 
studied, the greater marvel it becomes, and we 
stand awed before one of Nature's most stu- 
pendous and impenetrable mysteries. 

The cuckoo is a bird of great power of flight, 
and a journey from England to Egypt would 
hardly take it more than three days. This re- 
markable swiftness of wing makes another dif- 
ficulty in tracing all the goings and comings ot 
this most curious and remarkable member ot 
the feathered tribe. If cuckoos were gregari- 
ous and went in large flocks, much more would 
be known about them, and, if they were birds 
seen in moderately large numbers, we would 
have a much better opportunity of finding out 
their habits ; but, as has been said already, 



they are what may be termed with strict truth 
rare birds. 

There is another peculiarity or mystery con- 
nected with the cuckoo that is worth mention- 
ing : it is never seen in spring or mating time- 
without a small bird or two along with it, and 
this little attendant is generally of the lark spe- 
cies. When the cuckoo alights on a tree so 
does the little bird ; when the master or mis- 
tress flies away so does the servant, and gen- 
erally at a respectable distance behind — about 
the distance usually seen between an equestri- 
enne and her groom. Why these little birds 
follow the cuckoo, and what their offices are, 
add to the impenetrable mysteries connected 
with this extraordinary bird — mysteries that 
probably will never be explained. 

It has been thought by some that the reason 
the cuckoo builds no nest is because it has not 
time ; that Europe and the countries in which 
it breeds do not afford it proper food, and that 
the countries that afford it such food are not 
such as its young could be hatched or raised 
in. This theory will not stand a moment's ex- 
amination, for it is very hard to see why any 
bird could not live for three months in any 
country in which it could live for six or seven 
weeks, and three months would give it ample 
time to build a nest and hatch its young like 
any other bird. But a still stronger argument 
against this theory is furnished by the fact that 
the young birds remain in the country where 
they are born until late in the autumn, when 
they go — no one really knows where. 

Many species of birds of the genus Cuculida 
inhabit this continent, but none ot them are 
surrounded with that mystery that is so char- 
acteristic of the European cuckoo, and none ol 
them have so far excited the curiosity of the 
naturalist or touched the sentiment of the poet. 



AMONG THE TIGERS OF INDIA. 



Why is it that in shooting — and especially in 
tiger-shooting — some men may fag and toil day 
after day without any reward, while others who 
take infinitely less trouble have greatness 
thrust upon them, and invariably meet with 
the luck of the Prince of Darkness himself? 
writes a correspondent of the Asian. I take a 
personal interest in the solution of this riddle, 
for though, in shooting trips on the Nilgiris, I 
have spared no pains, I have not been as lucky 
with the hill tigers as I deserved to be. I be- 
lieve myself that my ill-success, and that of 
others, is in a great measure due, not to a 
scarcity of tigers, but to their extreme wariness. 
On the plains in the hot season you can force a 
tiger to meet you ; but upon the cool Blue 
Mountains there is abundance of water and 
shade throughout the year, and Stripes is mas- 
ter of the situation. But making due allowance 
for this the fact remains, and an irritating tact 
it is, that I have been just too early or too late 
for several good things, and hence the tears 
which head this paper. 

A few years back I had arranged with a 
chum to meet him at his tote on a particular 
date, and hinc Wcr lachyrma for a fortnights' 
trip. A dose of fever detained me, and I 
arrived at his bungalow two days late. There 
I found he had already started, and I posted 

on to our trysting-place at once. H was 

away from camp, and did not turn up till even- 
ing. He brought back with him a grand tiger, 
and my mortification on hearing how he 
bagged it may be better imagined than de- 
scribed. Our camp lay in the centre of a well- 
known tiger's beat ; in fact, we had selected 

the site in the hope of an interview. H 

told me that directly he arrived he had set to 
work to try and glean some news of the tiger, 
but on the first day had heard nothing. Early 
that morning he had left camp for a stalk, and 
had crossed the hills that lay between us and 

the B River, some four miles away. Just 

at the head of a steep ravine that runs up from 
the river he had taken up his post on the look- 
out for ibex and sambur ; and had not been 
watching half an hour when he saw four tigers 



at the bottom of the ravine in a loving family 
group. They were coming up an old elephant 
track, which passed some sixty yards under 

H 's post, and when ihey were immediately 

beneath him he opened fire, with the result that 
the leading and largest tiger collapsed at once. 

H had five more shots at the other three 

before they reached the cover of a large sholah, 
but could not say whether any of the bullets 
had taken effect. There was no blood on the 
track, and the sholah was far too extensive to 
be explored single-handed, so he had returned 
with the skin of the tiger he had bagged. 

"Had you been with me, old chap," said H , 

winding up his narrative, " we might have ac- 
counted for all four." Whether I blessed or 
cursed the fate that had made me miss my ap- 
pointment by a couple of days I will not say. 

We determined to start the next morning 
with every available man, and to beat the 
sholah thoroughly, though neither of us had 
much hope of coming across the other tigers. 
We were up and ready by 4 A. M., and reached 
the ravine just as "morn broadened on the 
borders of the dark." 

Sending all the men and the few dogs we 
had down to the bottom of the sholah into 

which the tiger had retreated, H took one 

side and I the other. Several sambur broke, 
but they were all hinds and brockets, and I 
reached the head of the sholah without having 
fired a shot. Here H — — joined me, and we 
had just begun to discuss a cigarette apiece, 
when the dogs gave tongue. Two minutes 
afterwards Bill, the shikari, burst out of the 
sholah with the news that another tiger was- 
lying dead not twenty yards from the edge. 
We made our way through the jungle, and,, 
stone dead in a stream, we found a nearly full- 
grown tiger. A shell from H— — 's express 
had entered his stomach and had done fearful 
execution, but still the tiger had managed to 
travel full 600 yards, and even then, as we could 
see from the ground, had not given up the 

ghost without a struggle. I slapped H on 

the back ; but I am bound to confess that a 
feeling of disappointment of having missed this 



MATURES REALM. 



59 



golden opportunity rauftgled with my congrat- 
ulations ; and this H 's sympathy, though 

perfectly genuine, did not tend to dispel. A 
chance of a tiger lost, and all through an inop- 
portune dose of fever. But such is sport ! 

We shot on together for ten days with fair 

success, when H was summoned to his 

estate. I still cherished a fond hope of coming 
across the tiger on whose domain we had in- 
truded, and decided to remain a few days 
longer, so H went back alone. 

Not far from camp, at — mund, was a cattle 
kraal, which was occupied at the time by a 
mixed herd of cows and buffaloes, under the 
charge of some Badagas, who had come out to 
this remote spot in search of pasture. Two 

days after H left me, a Badaga came to my 

camp with the news that on the previous night 
he had been awakened by the sound of a 
scrimmage going on in the kraal. Rousing 
his companions, they made as great a din as 
they could, and after a short time the scuffling 
ceased. Morning showed them that a tiger 
had cleared the wall of the cattle pen, and had 
killed no less than five cows. This made me 
set the marauder down as a tigress, (or the 
spirit of mischief is ingrained in the sex. The 
Badaga had posted off to me with the news, 
and I at once went back with him to the kraal. 
I thought it probable the tiger might return, 
and determined to sit up for him. But where ? 
was the question that puzzled me. The kraal, 
simply a circular stone wall about four feet 
high, was built on the open hill-side ; not a tree 
or bush was there to afford me shelter. I was 
fairly nonplussed, but at last a bright idea 
struck the Badaga. Why not sit up in his little 
hut ? Though I did not quite relish this, there 
was no alternative, and I resolved to adopt this 
course. The hut formed part of the circumfer- 
ence of the wall, and was roughly built of 
stone. The walls were of rubble, and several 
long slabs of stone laid across these formed a 
roof, the entrance facing inward toward the 
kraal. It was necessary that the Badaga 
should be with me, for this race has a very 
strong and quite distinctive smell, and the 
absence of the aroma might have made the 
tiger suspicious. This may sound absurd, but 
I believe that had I sat up with Bill, a Tamil, 



the tiger would not have put in an appearance, 
owing to the difference in the effluvium. But 
to induce the herdsman to watch with me was 
no easy matter. He had been thorough)?' 
scared the previous night, and refused point 
blank at first, begging me to let him stop with 
my men in camp. The promise of enam 
(money), however, brought back his courage, 
and I agreed to meet him at 6 P. M. ( after the 
cattle had been driven home. He promised at' 
the same time not to disturb the carcasses. 1 
was there true to time, and we began our Ylgi'v 
directly twilight fell. We chatted in whispers'" 
for some time, and at length I bethought me of 
a flask I had put in my pocket before starting 
from camp. I took a mouthful, and poured 
out a stiff dose for the Badaga. This dispelled 
his fears, for he thumped his chest, and gal- 
lantly declared himself ready to meet the tiger 
face to face. Very soon, however, the spirit 
had a soporific effect, and the Badaga sank 
back buried in blissful sleep. Night spread 
her sable mantle over us, and the animals 
crowded in front became gradually more 
blurred, until shortly I could distinguish noth- 
ing but a shadowy black mass. The only 
sounds that broke the deep silence were the 
inexplicable voices of the night, mingled with 
the crunch, crunch, of the cows all round us, 
and the stertorous breathing of the Badaga. 
Time sped on, and the moon rose in all her 
queenly majesty, bathing the kraal in a flood 
of tender ivory light. My thoughts strayed 
back over the gulf of years to other scenes and 
another clime ; and in fancy I pictured how on 
just such a glorious night I had strolled by a 
moonlit river, with a maiden " divinely tall, 
and most divinely fair" by my side, and had 
sworn by Ashtaroth, Queen of Heaven, that 
neither time, nor space, nor the gorgeous East, 
with all its visions of splendor, should efface 
the memory of the sweet blue eyes that looked 
love into mine — when suddenly my reverie was 
rudely dispelled by a rush amongst the cattle, 
which brought my wandering senses back at 
once, for I knew what it portended. Up 
started the Badaga, and would have yelled, 
but I forced him back and put my hand over 
lii^ mouth. The next instant a heavy body 
alighted on top ol the hut. Needless to say it 



6o 



NATURE'S REALM, 



was the tiger. The Badaga 's face was a per- 
fect study ; his eyes were starting out of their 
sockets, his body was rigid, and there was no 
longer any necessity to stop his mouth — fear 
had struck him dumb. The tiger now began 
to sniff through an interstice between the 
stones overhead ; he smelt the Badaga. I felt 
a bit "skeery" myself, and did not quite know 
■what to do. At first I contemplated stepping 
■out into the open and confronting the tiger ; 
but a shot by moonlight is always risky, and a 
miss would have brought the tiger off to me in 
a twinkling. I tried hard to make his head out 
through the crevice, but could not succeed ; so 
gently inserting the muzzle in the cranny 
■where I heard the brute sniffing, I pulled the 
trigger. In that confined space the report was 
tremendous, and ditto the smoke ; but, if my 
shot had no other effect, it restored his voice to 
the Badaga, who began to yell loud enough to 
frighten the d — 1 himself. Perfect silence suc- 
ceeded, and, as nothing could be done till 
morning, I lay down to snatch a few hours' 
sleep, knowing that I could trust the Badaga to 
maintain a vigilant watch. At dawn I climbed 
up and examined the roof, but the only visible 
effect of my shot was a bit of stone chipped oft 
the edge of one of the slabs. Whether the 
tiger was hit or not I do not know ; I believe, 
myself, I must have fired just in front of his 
nose. ■ My Badaga friend has never forgotten 
that night's adventure, and the mere mention 
of it, even after the lapse of time, makes his 
hair stand on end. 

I could give several other instances to show 
that, when I am on the warpath on the Blue 
Hills, Dame Fortune makes the tigers her es- 
pecial care ; but my pen has had free play 
enough for once. However, we all know that 
fickleness is her chief attribute, and when next 
I pay a visit to the hills, as I think of doing in 
a month, perhaps she may greet me with a 
smile. For the present I live in hope. 

Before ending this epistle I may note that 
local shikaris recognize two kinds of tigers as 
inhabiting the Nilgiris. They are not different 
species, and their structure is, of course, the 
same, but the difference in their food supply, 
and their methods of obtaining it, make a 
marked distinction in their habits and appear- 



ance. First, there is the cattle lifter, who re- 
stricts his excursions to the neighborhood of 
villages and takes life easily, levying a constant 
tribute on the village herds. He is always a 
large, heavy, handsome tiger. The game 
killer, pure and simple, on the other hand, is 
small compared with his cousin with the pre- 
dilection lor beef, and he dwells far from the 
madding crowd in the distant forests which 
form the chief haunts of deer and other game. 
Tempt him as you may, he will not look at a 
cow or buffalo, but whether from distaste or 
fear I cannot say. I should much like to know 
whether a similar "distinction without a differ- 
ence" exists in the hill tracts in N. India, 
where tigers most do congregate. 

Another correspondent writes : 

"Some years ago, whilst shooting in India, 
a friend and myself were beating for a tiger 
along the banks of a river, then nearly dry. 
We had, as usual, tied out several young buf- 
falo calves to tempt his striped majesty, and ot 
these he had taken due toll, without, however, 
repaying us by affording a shot. He was a 
very leary customer, and up to every dodge ot 
a hunted tiger. For three days we beat for 
him without any tangible result, though each 
day we put him up more than once. At one 
time he would slip off before we got to our 
posts ; another he would lie close, and, jump- 
ing up, charge back through the beaters with 
a roar, and when he did break from the bank 
of the river he took very good care to cross at 
a spot that was practically out of range of us 
both. This game had gone on for three days, 
and on the third, toward evening, I witnessed 
what I am about to relate. After the previous 
night's "kill" all the hailas, or buffalo calves, 
had been taken in except one. This one was 
in a cool, shady spot in the bed of the river 
near a little pool ot water, and not a hundred 
and fifty yards from where we had left our 
horses, as we intended riding back to camp 
after the beat. Our friend had pursued his 
usual aggravating tactics, and at last broke 
back, and, passing me where I could not fire, 
got behind my post. I knew he had gone 
back, as I just caught a glimpse of him, but too 
transient to risk a shot. Something prompted 
me to look back over my shoulder (I was 



NATURES REALM. 



61 



seated on the branch of a tree), and I presently 
saw the tiger slip into the bed of the river, take 
a look up and down and then begin to walk 
calmly across. Suddenly he stopped, crouched 
and then crept on toward where the calf was. 
He was rather far for a shot, and, besides, from 
my position I could not bring my rifle round. 
After creeping up to within about twenty yards 
of the haila he stopped, and, gathering him- 
self together, gave two or three enormous 
bounds (I saw his footprints in the sand after- 
ward and measured them) ; there was a mo- 
mentary scuffle, a struggle, and the tiger 
slipped up the opposite bank and disappeared. 
So quietly had the whole thing happened that 
our syees holding the horses never even saw 
the tiger. On going up to the calf we found it 
dead, the rope that attached it to a tree 
broken and the tell-tale fang marks in its neck. 



" Now there was no apparent reason why 
this tiger should have behaved in this manner, 
for he had had a good meal the previous eve- 
ning, and I think his conduct can only be ac- 
counted lor by the love of slaughter, for he 
went considerably out of his way to kill the 
wretched calf. 

" We had to shift our camp the next day, and 
had to leave our friend, but in about a month 
we returned to find him in his old haunts, and 
after two days' more hide and seek he for once 
made a mistake, and passing almost under the 
tree in which I was posted, fell to four drams 
of powder and a twelve-bore bullet. 

" Need I say that tiger's death was a sincere 
cause of congratulation, as he had cost us a 
small fortune in young buffaloes, one of which 
we considered he had sacrificed in a most 
ungentlemanly spirit." 



TO A VIOLET FOUND BLOOMING IN NOVEMBER. 
Bv Albert Bigelow Paine. 

Pretty blossom, little stranger, with your modest eye of blue, 
Why in this unusual season are you bravely blossoming ? 

Did you think the other flowers all had been deceiving you, 
And because the day was sunny that it was return of spring? 

Or perhaps you wished to see how the world looked at this season, 
When companions of the springtime, birds and blossoms have all fled, 

And the woods are brown and silent — tell me, have I guessed the reason I 
And do you lament, sweet blossom, that you find your brothers dead ? 

Little violet, pretty stranger, bravely blossoming alone, 

Prize you well the fleeting moment, for so brief will be your stay 

That I fear it will have ended with the setting of the sun — 
For the frosts will gather thickly o'er you ere another day. 

Vou will wither, little blossom, when you feel its icy breath 
Fall upon your tender petals that were just unclosed to-day, 

As with me, in early youth-time, hope received a blow of death, 
By the frosts ot winter falling thickly on my head in May. 

I am sorry, tender floweret, that so bravely you came hither, 

When all other flowers have faded and the winter winds are nigh, 

I am sorry, but 'tis only that you must so quickly wither — 
Sorry that you left the bosom of your mother but to die. 



A FEW HUMMING BIRD NOTES. 

By Oliver. 



These little sunbeams of birds, as the West- 
ern Indians called them, are only found in 
North and South America and the islands ad- 
jacent. They are more thickly distributed in 
the equatorial section, and are there known as 
" sun birds." The peculiar and often beautitul 
formation, and the iridescent coloration of their 
plumage, are characteristics that excite the 
wonder and admiration of all observers, natu- 
ralists and laymen. The long-tailed humming 
bird of Jamaica (Trochilns polytinns) is more 
transcendent in beauty of form and color than 
the celebrated emerald Paradise bird of New 
Guinea. 

Some species range north to the Arctic re- 
gions and south to Patagonia, and from the 
level of the sea to the cold heights of the An- 
des, but, wherever found, the hues of emerald 
and ruby, and amethyst and topaz, flash from 
their beautiful forms. Everything in their or- 
ganization contributes to give them great 
power and rapidity of flight, and they are able 
to balance themselves in the air or beside a 
flower with a facility which finds a parallel 
only among some of the insects. The bill is 
awl-shaped, thin, sharp-pointed, straight or 
curved. The tongue, which is split almost to 
its base, forming two hollow threads, can be 
protruded at will, and, while their main food is 
assuredly the distilled juice of flowers, they 
will not live when deprived entirely of insect 
food. 

There are about 400 species ot humming 
birds, but only six or seven are native to the 
United States. Among the most prominent 
species, estimated from the singular formation 
and color of their plumage, we find, first, the 
" long-tailed " humming bird, which is found 
only in Jamaica. The upper part of this beau- 
tiful creature is of a green color, glossed with 
gold; the wings are purple brown, and the 



tail, nearly three times longer than the body, is 
black, with a steel-blue reflection. Its length, 
including the tail, is about ten inches. An- 
other remarkable species, not especially bril- 
liant in plumage, is the "sword-bill," with a 
beak nearly as long as the rest of its body. 
The Copper-bellied, Puff-leg humming birds 
have a tuft of pure white, downy feathers, 
which envelope each leg, hence its name. The 
" White-booted Racket-tail "is another brilliant, 
and is noted for its remarkable swiftness of 
flight, darting like an arrow through the air. 
Many other species are deeply interesting, and 
their names also will suggest the brilliancy ot 
their coloration. We name a tew : Little 
flame-bearer, Princess Helena's coquette, the 
snow-cap, spangled coquette, the ruby, topaz, 
blue-tailed sylph, Cayenne fairy, and many 
others with characteristic names and beauty. 
Whilst in their daring flight some of the 
wading birds cleave their way through the 
clouds and sweep a whole hemisphere, a 
little family of humming birds have only a rose 
bush for their universe. Like an elegant vase 
ornamented with lichens, a downy nest of cot- 
ton is balanced on the extremity of the most 
slender branch of the plant, whilst these 
aerial diamonds make prey of the insects which 
the flowers attract, or drink the pearls of dew 
which their petals distil. Such, Pouchet tells 
us, is the life of the sparkling-tailed humming 
bird. In the same manner, according to 
Gould, the "emeralds of Brazil," as they are 
commonly called, robed in changing green, 
set up their family nests upon the slender, pen- 
dent stems of the creepers, from the vicinity of 
which they never move. Rocked by the 
zephyr, the female broods tranquilly on her 
eggs, while her lord flits amorously near her; 
here are spent all the happy days of the gentle 
pair. 




Family of S H 



THE SONG OF THE RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET. 

By Dr. Morris Oibbs. 



"A bird's song is the most beautiful music 
in the world." These are the words ot my 
friend, Stewart White, and he echoes the sen- 
timent at least of all refined lovers ot Nature. 
It is not necessary that a person should be an 
ornithologist in order that one may appreciate 
the melody from Nature's conservatory. On 
the contrary, it happens lamentably often that 
individuals who aspire to a position of scienti- 
fic fame as writers on the subject of birds, are 
sadly deficient in the comprehension of many 
points of interest alike pleasurable to the aes- 
thete and utilitarian. Comprehensively, then, 
the songs of birds are to be studied by orni- 
thologists and lovers of harmony in the wood- 
lands and fields, and to those having cultivated 
the ear much pleasure is derived from observa- 
tion and comparison of the various notes, even 
where the several performers are not identified. 
There is no study more pleasing to the 
stroller in our groves than to become ac- 
quainted with the voices of our feathered 
friends, not only in song, but in all moods and 
passions, represented by call notes indicative 
of love, excitement and fear. These call notes, 
as well as the songs, should be considered not 
only from the standpoint of musical superiority, 
but as well from the sentimentality emanating, 
as must result from associations with these 
delicate yet vivacious dwellers of our forests 
and fields. I can readily conceive that associ- 
ations of a tender, refining nature, may be ab- 
sent in some persons, but to the observer, the 
one who enjoys the many pleasures of out-door 
life, the songs of birds are ever a fruitful source 
of pleasing retrospection of agreeable days in 
the woodland. 

One of the earliest songsters of merit which 
greet us in the latitude of New York City and 
well west on the parallel is the ruby-crowned 
kinglet. Coming as it does about April 20, 
often earlier, the medley of joyous notes are 
doubly welcome, and when heard on a cold, 
disagreeable day, the song seems to inspire 
one with hope in waiting for warmer days and 
fairer skies. 

The song of this dainty, sprightly-winged 
gem, is a sweet warble of great penetration, 



but it is still in no way coarse or stridulous ir» 
any of its notes, and so ecstatic is the clear,, 
rippling melody, that one has to pause and 
with visible anxiety listen to its repetition, ifhe 
be a lover of music and vivauous, changeable 
warblings. Never a break or flaw in the song 
of this bird, and the first note of morning is as 
clear and full as the last at sunset. 

These true musicians of Nature have no need 
of practice to fit their voices for a woodland 
concert, and, even when all sing in chorus,. 
there is not a false note uttered, though there- 
may be twenty species in this choir of varied 
singers. 

The ear of the true musician is from neces- 
sity attracted by the quavering, varied nstes, 
as often as repeated by this sweet singer, and 
to my mind it takes a high rank for excellence 
among our many fine singing birds. The 
notes, as with most birds, are difficult to de- 
scribe, but can be expressed with the pen, so 
that one familiar with the refined song can 
recognize it at a glance, even from this poor 
imitation. It begins with a few low, half-artic- 
ulate notes, soft and melodious, rises to quite a 
pitch, and ends with a trembling, exquisitely- 
modulated warbling. It is unlike the song ot 
any other bird of my acquaintance, and no 
comparison that the writer can draw could pro- 
perly furnish a description of this elegant song- 
ster's ditty. In our inefficient way we may de- 
scribe the notes on paper, trusting for leniency 
on the part of readers, and assuring those who 
are better educated in bird melodies than I that 
the interpretation is my best effort. The re- 
frain runs in this wise : Choi choi choi — qui 
qui qui — checdledee chreedledee chreedledee. 

The notes begin and end abruptly, and often, 
when half finished, the song stops, and the 
active fellow gives voice to a few energetic 
staccato call notes. 

The ruby-crown does not stop with us, being 
merely a transient in my State, and passing far 
to the north to nest. Of its nesting habits but 
very little is known, although the birds are- 
abundant in their vernal and autumnal migra- 
tions. 



A DAY AMONG THE KANGAROOS. 
By William Senior. 



Before the tablecloth had been removed I 
had learned to look upon the kangaroo as a 
downright pest in the thriving colony of 
Queensland, Australia. The talk had been of 
its ravages upon our host's pastures, and we 
had been all amused at the production, by one 
of the company, of an advertisement clipped 
from an English newspaper, designed to 
attract emigrants to the colony, and concluding 
with the words in capital type letters, " Liberty 
and Kangaroos ! " Other attractions had been 
offered to the workingmen of the old country, 
but this last line, set out in conspicuous isola- 
tion, was evidently intended as a clincher. 
Kangaroos, indeed! That worthy Scotchman, 
our squatter host, hospitable to a fault, and 
shrewd as ever a North Briton could be, was 
full of the subject from quite another point of 
view. Kangaroos were no attraction to him. 

"The emigrant agent at home," he said, 
helping himselt to another banana, "seems to 
think the kangaroo a blessing. We, unfor- 
tunately, know it to be a curse. I have gone 
closely into the figures of the whole question, 
and can prove to you that every 1,000 kanga- 
roos rob 2,000 sheep of grass, and this, at the 
present rate of wool, means a loss of 400 /. 
every year." 

" But," said a member of the Legislative 
Assembly — smacking to sudden death a blood- 
thirsty mosquito that had settled on the back 
of his hand, and was rapidly filling out until its 
small body resembled a bead of crimson glass 
— " but the Government are taking the question 
up. They have passed a bill according to 
which ninepence will be paid for every 
kangaroo scalp and sixpence for every wallaby." 

" Aye, and that is very good so far as it 
goes," rejoined the master, " but I was taught 
in dear auld Aberdeenshire that the best way 
to do a thing is to do it yourself. Why, sir, 
last month we had a three days' battue, and 
killed 3,000 marsupials, and if we have luck we 
shall shoot our thousand head to-morrow. 

And, in truth, a very pleasant prospect it 
•was. None of your wearisome walking for 



hours over mountain and glen for the bare 
glimpse of a stag which winds you every time 
you get within range. None of the perils ot 
the tiger hunt in Indian jungles. Nay, none ot 
the sickening brutality of the fashionable 
pigeon match. Here was an almost certainty 
of safe, plentiful sport, and, withal, the 
consciousness that you were all the time doing 
a work of necessity, and giving assistance to a 
worthy man whose theory in life had always 
been that heaven loves to help them who help 
themselves. 

A loss of 400 /. every year ? Well might 
one of us, as we went out to the verandah to 
smoke our pipes, gaze at the lovely purple tints 
stealing over the mountains, and become 
dreamy as the glorious stars of the southern 
hemisphere came out almost simultaneously 
with the sunset, exclaim, in the words of a 
never-forgotten favorite, " Four hundred 
pounds ! Ma conscience I " 

Our friend Cameron was adopting a wise 
course. The colony was in the midst of a 
terrible drought. Riding up to Glenlorne — the 
Australian colonies abound with sheep and 
cattle-runs bearing the name of some well- 
remembered scene of home — I had seen 
bullocks perishing and perished for lack of food 
and water, dying, perhaps, in the oozy mud ot 
a nearly dried-up waterhole, having insufficient 
strength to extricate themselves. The heavens 
were as brass, the earth as iron. The grass 
was yellow, and dry as tinder, and ugly 
fissures were gaping in the parched earth. In 
the course of six hours I passed a dozen bush- 
fires. At such a time the kangaroos, driven 
from their mountain retreats, had advanced 
boldly to the haunts of civilization, and were, 
as the saying went, "eating up the country." 

With a good heart, therefore, I uprose at 
dawn, and joined the band of hunters gathered 
for an organized attack on the enemy. To the 
half-a-dozen of us who were Cameron's guests 
at Glenlorne were now added neighbors, who 
had ridden in from a radius of twenty miles. 
In that sparsely populated country, where one 



66 



NA TURKS REALM. 



man's possession is as large as an English 
county, the muster would not be much even if 
it included the whole population ; but we found 
ourselves twenty-five strong of armed men, 
and, what with black fellows and small settlers, 
there were between forty and fifty beaters on 
horseback. 

What a hullabaloo there was, as we fore- 
gathered in the home paddock ! Dogs were 
barking, -men shouting, and there was much 
running to and fro. One man wanted a strap, 
another a length of greenhide to repair broken 
gear. The laughing jackasses in the scrub 
beyond the vineyard cachinnated one against 
the other, as only those comical birds can do. 
The pretty little blue-mountain parrots, flash- 
ing green, blue, and orange, screamed in their 
rapid flight overhead. Still higher, like pure 
white flecks against the serene blue of the 
cloudless sky, the cockatoos flocked to raid 
upon the Indian corn of some poor husbandman. 
The magpie fluted sweetly from the three gum 
trees by the milking yard. Far as the eye 
could reach, far as it would have reached had 
its powers been doubled, stretched the free 
forest of the Australian bush, with patches ot 
clearing here and there ; and, for the horizon, 
there were mountain ranges upon which the 
gauzy drapery of the night mists still lightly 
hovered. Words altogether fail to describe 
the sense of absolute freedom and delight felt 
by the healthy man at such a moment. His 
strength seems renewed like the eagle's. His 
•chest expands as he draws a deep, sound breath, 
and thanks God that he is alive and that the 
world is so fair. 

We had to reach those mountains and take 
up our positions upon the ridges and the spurs 
thereof. The beaters were to operate on the 
intervening flats and drive the game upward. 
It was my privilege to accompany both parties ; 
to ride away with the beaters, and afterward 
join the firing party. The beaters, having a 
detour to accomplish, started first. We 
mounted, not in hot haste, but with the orderly 
leisure of men who wished to be thorough. In 
the bush you must learn to be your own groom 
when occasion requires ; to catch your horse, 
bridle and saddle it, and mount with never a 
hoy at its head holding the off-stirrup ready. 



In time the new chum becomes fond of doing 
so, and feels a pride in seeing for himself that 
the saddlecloth (often a simple piece of blanket) 
and girths are in order, and the bit and bridle 
comfortably disposed ; also in being able, 
nimbly and safely, to mount a restless animal. 
Not one horse of our squadron had been sta- 
bled or groomed or corn-fed for many a day. 
Not one of the beaters wore coat or braces. 
The shirt and trousers, belt, and broad-brim- 
med hat, leggings, and more often one spur than 
two, completed the equipment, always adding 
the everlasting stock-whip. 

Under the orders of our "boss," we in due 
time spread out over four or five miles of coun- 
try, with instructions to make as much noise 
as we could after a certain interval had elapsed. 
The country over which we had to beat was 
more or less closely timbered, and there were 
small belts of scrub from which we knew there 
would be plenty ofgame to be dislodged. The 
general plan was to advance in a semi-circular 
line, so as to drive the marsupials toward a 
particular ridge for which they would be sure 
to make. 

Within a mile of the home paddock behold 
them — kangaroos, wallabies, and even kanga- 
roo rats — enjoying their morning meal, for 
their large pricked ears already betrayed a 
mild alarm. They had heard the crackling of 
dead branches as we rode toward them, and 
were discovered sitting on their haunches with 
their heads erect, and with one consent looking 
toward us. When the stock-whips began to 
crack, and the voices to resound far and near, 
they remained no more upon the order of their 
going, but went. You could see them bound- 
ing over the open spaces in their queer, half- 
upright position, with long balancing tails out- 
stretched, and hear the dead wood creaking in 
the bits of scrub. The beaters were, as per 
instructions, first to advance at a walk, and 
only to begin the business in earnest when'two 
shots, fired in quick succession from the ridge, 
gave the signal. 

By taking a short cut, calculating my time, 
and using the spurs, I was able to keep com- 
pany for a short distance with the beaters, and 
yet come up with the gunners, before the first 
shot was fired on the ridge. Guided by Billy 



NATURE'S REALM. 



07 



Barlow, a black fellow belonging to the station, 
this proved to be a most rousing gallop for a 
man who had previously had little experience 
of bush-life. Over fallen logs, down steep 
slopes, threading through the forest, now 
crouching upon the horse's neck to avoid a 
branch that would have brained you on the 
spot ; now brushing past gum-tree trunks that 
it seemed impossible to avoid, Billy led the way 
at high racing speed, his legs and arms rival- 
ling a windmill in motion, and his high-pitched 
whoop acting better than the sharpest spur 
upon the spirits of the plucky horses. Where 
the black fellow went I was bound to follow, 
and, drawing rein at the ridge, he showed his 
white teeth as the central feature of a beaming 
smile, and with an air of ineffable self-conceit 
chuckled, "That good fellow gallop, my word. 
Eh ? " 

Transferred now to the command of the 
leader of the firing party, a huge ironbark tree 
was assigned as my station, from which I was 
not to move. Moreover, as there was another 
sportsman 200 yards to the right, and another 
200 yards to the left, the necessity of firing 
reasonably straight ahead was impressed upon 
me, as upon the rest. The little time to spare 
I employed in strolling along the line. The 
sportsmen were supremely happy. Those who 
had breech-loaders had heaped their cartridges 
conveniently at the foot of the tree, and fondled 
their weapons, lauding pinfire or central fire 
according to their respective possessions. The 
•owners of muzzle-loaders, amongst which were 
some antique specimens that I should have 
trembled to discharge, were a little damped by 
the obvious disadvantage under which they 
labored, but were nevertheless eager and 
cheery, flattering themselves in one or two 
instances, with some reason too, that their 
guns were warranted to kill harder than the 
newer fashion. 

At last the double-shotted signal rang out 
clear. The gunners stood to arms. The 
whips and shouts of the beaters could at first 
scarcely be heard, but they soon grew nearer. 
Acting under orders, we allowed the odd 
kangaroos composing the straggling advance 
guard to go by unhurt, and ought to.have kept 
quiet until another double shot from our head- 



centre told us when to begin. But the kanga- 
roos came on in such numbers that we were 
not to be restrained, and soon a fusilade 
worthy of a battlefield was opened. "Aim 
low, and single out your kangaroo," was, of 
course, the motto. 

With small flocks of from four to a dozen 
bounding in a body toward you, the temptation 
to blaze at random into their midst was almost 
irresistible ; but a few misses taught you the 
folly of the proceeding. It turned out to be a 
splendid drive. Hundreds of kangaroos rushed 
toward and past us. Some came on after 
being hit and fell, struggling but not killed, 
within a few yards of our posts. Others were 
literally rolled over and over down the ridge, 
until stopped by bush or tree. Rather than 
miss a chance, I fear some of us shot toward 
each other, eager to bring down the game as it 
was abreast us. I can answer for a rattling ot 
spent shot on the tree beyond me, and the next 
man to the right more than hinted that some ol 
my charges might be found in the bark of a 
eucalyptus not a hundred miles from where he 
stood. Whereupon we mutually congratulated 
each other upon our good fortune, and prom- 
ised to behave better for the future. 

The beaters had at last done their work, and 
were near us. Then only the file-firing ended. 
My first business when it ceased was to pick 
up a stick and despatch two unfortunate kan- 
garoos whose hind legs had been broken, and 
who were in a pitiable state of disablement 
some twenty yards off. The poor creatures, 
inoffensive in all things except their natural 
appetites for the food provided for them, looked 
up with such liquid beautiful eyes, full of dis- 
tress and pleading, that for a time I dared not 
put them out of their pain. It did seem terri- 
bly cruel, but, alas ! that loss of 400 /. a year. 
and the remembrance of havoc amongst the 
cultivated acres ol selectors to whom the loss 
of even 400 s. would be a most serious matter, 
appeared to justify this wholesale taking ot life. 
Still, the consciousness that we were doing a 
work of necessity for our squatter friend, and 
for the frugal selector and his family, could 
not put me wholly at ease in the face of that 
reproachful glance. It was the one drawback 
to a day's exciting sport. 



68 



NATURE'S REALM. 



During the day we had three drives similar 
to this, but none quite equal in results. The 
first drive had wrought wholesale slaughter. 
The breech-loaders had naturally given the 
best account of the foe. Some of the gun bar- 
rels became too hot to touch. One expert at 
the work, never moving from his appointed 
stand, had fired fifty cartridges, and shot forty- 
three marsupials. The lowest number killed 
by a gun was eight. How around each tree 
the empty cartridges lay strewed ; how all 
along the ridge the smell of gunpowder and 
wreaths of smoke pervaded the air; how black 
fellows and boys with sharp knives whipped off 
the scalps of the slain, carefully leaving the 
ears attached, and strung them together ; how 
the begrimed barrels were cleaned out, per- 
spiring faces mopped, and incidents exchanged 
over happy pipes, as we lay prone upon the 
ground for a brief spell previous to starting 
afresh, let the reader imagine for himseU. 

Of the kangaroo tribes which fell that day 
there numbered 921, and of animals wounded 
to die in lingering pain or to recover as best 
they could, there must have been a great 
quantity. The B. B. shot scatters wide with 
most guns, and out of a flying group of half a 
dozen, probably not one would escape without 
a pellet. The number of animals driven before 
our beaters was incredibly great, and I was 
not at all surprised to hear afterward that upon 
another station in the same district 23,000 
kangaroos were shot during one year. Upon 
the day with which we have been concerning 
ourselves some of the rarer species were found 
amongst the slain. It is said that in Australia 
there are between twenty and thirty kinds ot 
kangaroo. The varieties which we secured 
were, first, the common kangaroo, and the 
largest, which was what the colonials term an 
"old man" kangaroo, was much above the 
average. Sitting upright he would have been 
nearly six feet high, and his big tapering tail 
could not have weighed less than fourteen 
pounds. Secondly, came the smaller wallabies, 
of which there were three kinds, namely- — the 
common scrub wallaby, the rock wallaby, 
which is darker in color and more handsome, 
and there was one black wallaby, so scarce that 
it was next day despatched to one of the other 



colonies for preservation in a museum. 
Thirdly, we had a few paddy-melons, a still 
smaller variety than the wallaby ; fourthly, a 
brace of kangaroo rats ; and lastly one walla- 
roo. 

Touching the rats, they must have been ac- 
cidentally shot ; as their scalps do not bring a 
bonus, and they are no bigger than a wild 
rabbit, no one would think of knowingly wast- 
ing a shot upon them. The wallaroo is quite 
another affair. This is the most valuable 
example of the order Marsupialia. It inhabits- 
mountainous districts and is seldom found.. 
The fur is a rich dark brown, and fetches a 
high price. The specimen amongst our spoil 
must have wandered from its native haunts in. 
error, and Billy Barlow was not wrong in 
applying to him the term " boome*"," which, all 
through the colonies, signifies something 
preternaturally large. Thus a polite youth 
will inform a friend who has drawn a very long 
bow, not that he has told a wicked falsehood,, 
but a down-right boomer. 

It seemed a pity to leave so many carcasses 
lying on the ground to be the food of carrion 
birds, voracious ants, and prowling dingoes, 
but in a country where the scarcity of labor is 
a huge difficulty meeting the colonist at every 
turn, it would not pay even to remove the 
skins. Yet the fur, chosen at the right time of 
year, makes a most serviceable rug, and the 
most comfortable boots I have ever worn were 
made of kangaroo leather. The meat is held 
of little account. Wallaby haunch jugged, or 
the whiter paddy-melon curried, make a wel- 
come change to salt beef from the harness 
cask ; and the tail of the large kangaroo has a 
certain fame for soup, although one hears more 
about it at home than in the land of the 
marsupials. Some day, no doubt, the hun- 
dreds of thousands ot skins that may be 
secured every year will find their value. At 
present they are virtually wasted, though the 
value of the leather is slowly becoming better 
known. 

The reader may now form some idea of a 
days' sport at the Antipodes. Not the least 
pleasant feature was our halt for luncheon^ 
The spot selected was a thick scrub into which 
even the fierce sun which made the glass 



X.irrXE'S REALM. 



69 



register 100" in the shade could not penetrate. 
Of bread and damper there was no stint ; cold 
boiled beef, in joints and pieces of the cut-and- 
come-again order, was plentiful. Tea, strong, 
fragrant, and sweet, we brewed in buckets 
over the camp fire, and drank without milk, 
after the fashion of all orthodox bushman, 
dipping our pannikins, which each man had 
brought strapped to his saddle, into the com- 
mon pail. 

Our sheath-knives were our sole cutlery, and 
crockeryware troubled us not. Talk of lord 
mayor's feasts ! Blessed indeed would be 
lord mayors, aldermen, and all people com- 
mitted to their charge if they could relish their 
food as we relished that unpretentious repast in 
the Australian forest. True, there were a few 
mosquitoes about. One venerable gentleman 
leaped with surprising agility to his feet after 
being nipped rudely by the forceps of a bull- 
dog-ant upon which he had innocently sat ; 
and attention, as the feast drew near its close, 
was called to a disagreeable-looking iguana 
over a yard long, which had been watching us 
from one of the upper branches of a tree, and 
which dropped very dead to a salute from 
Billy Barlow's single-barrelled gun. Billy 
carefully selected certain fatty portions to 



which he had in his piccaninny days been 
taught to ascribe almost supernatural curative 
powers. 

With the breaking up of the drought I may 
mention as a postscript, the plague of marsup- 
ials moderated, but as the bonuses for scalps 
were also reduced in value the energetic 
measures which had been entered into for the 
destruction of kangaroos were allowed to lapse. 
The natural timidity of the animal as a rule 
ensures its retreat before civilization, and the 
colonist who does not travel into the bush sees 
but little of the singular animal which so as- 
tonished Captain Cook and his merry men. 
But the danger from the millions of marsupials 
which still exist is such that in some badly- 
infested districts the landholders were not long 
since warned by the local authorities that, it 
they did not destroy them, they would be de- 
stroyed by officially-employed men. at their the 
landholders' expense. Pastoral lessees should 
adopt Sandy Cameron's principles, for, at 
Glenlorne, the nuisance was, after my visit, 
reduced to a minimum by his vigorous on- 
slaughts, made on that grand self-help prin- 
ciple which has given him a fortune beyond 
the dreams ot avarice. 



THE AQUARIUM 



CONDUCTED BY 

[The Editor of this Department will cheerfully an 

The Water Cabinet. 

The aquarium has not only spread abroad a 
love for natural history ; it has also increased 
the facilities for the study of Nature by remov- 
ing: the difficulties which have hitherto attended 
the preservation, for any length of time, of liv- 
ing specimens of aquatic life. The tank had 
scarcelv taken its place among the resources 
for pleasurable recreation and scientific study 
when the field of culture extended itself, and 
every variety of minute life found in the waters 
came to have its share of attention for the gen- 
eral profit and delight of the studious. The 
ordinary tank was found insufficient for the 
wants of the aquarist, and, wherever a large 
vessel was to be seen stocked with fresh-water 
fishes or marine objects, a collection of small 
jars, phials or show glasses was pretty sure to 
be found also. 

In an aquarium we may group together many 
dissimilar objects, but it must be evident to the 
most superficial observer that, when immersed 
in a large body of water with other creatures, 
many objects are ill placed for examination, 
especially if we use the microscope. Hence, 
where the study is pursued with any degree ot 
ardor, some special arrangements are neces- 
sary to enable us to keep in a healthy state, 
and in a way that admits a close scrutiny at 
any moment, such of the smaller aquatic ob- 
jects as most commend themselves for beauty 
or scientific interest. 

Many beginners, unable to resist the temp- 
tation of a jar of beetles or a collection of larva, 
and having no other means of keeping them, 
have placed them in the tank to mingle with 
the stock of finny creatures, and have thereby 
either lost the better part of the collection or 
have been compelled to break up the stock and 
begin anew. A few species of water beetles 
and aquatic larva may be safely preserved in 
an aquarium, but an aquarium is by no means 
the best place for them if we wish to study 



HUGO MULERTT. 

-wer all queries rt-]:<ti\e to the conduct of Aquaria.] 

their habits closely or investigate their mechan- 
ism and economy by the aid of lenses ; all in- 
sects, many mollusks, larva and other small 
objects should be kept apart, and a collection 
of such objects is what we mean by a water 
cabinet. 

To the genuine student there is really more 
for remunerative study in such a collection 
than can be found in the aquarium, though the 
tank, whether river or marine, will always 
prove most attractive as an ornament, and, be- 
cause it requires less care and study, will be 
pretty sure to retain the greatest number ot 
admirers. But the aquarium and the cabinet 
are distinct things; they cannot be combined 
in the same vessel, and, though a water cabinet 
is but another •form, or rather a series of sepa- 
rate and smaller aquaria, the uses and econo- 
mies of each are in a great measure distinct. 
It is possible to cultivate either without the 
other, though we should generally expect to 
find them in company, the cabinet being a 
growth or extension oi the aquarium. 

Construction of a Cabinet. — Ing-enuitv. 
under the control of, circumstances, will devise 
many modes of preserving the smaller speci- 
mens of aquatic life, and we shall here describe 
a plan which, we think, will be found most 
generally useful, particularly as it may have a 
very simple form and be produced for a very 
trifling outlay ; or may be elaborated into a 
noble piece of furniture for the adornment pf 
an elegantly furnished room. 

If we describe the measurements of our own 
cabinet it may serve as a guide to any who 
may desire to have one constructed of a similar 
pattern, though, as a matter of course, the plan 
admits of endless modifications, to suit the 
means of the student or the position in which 
such a cabinet is to be placed. 

The table measures nineteen inches from 
back to front across the centre drawer, and 
from back to front across the two side drawers, 



NATURE'S REALM. 



7' 



twelve inches. On this is placed a row of 
seven-inch cylindrical glasses of clear flint 
glass, and in the centre, behind the jars, stands 
a twelve-inch, bell-glass aquarium, to be stocked 
with choice fishes or superfluous cabinet speci- 
mens. The first shelf has a breadth of eight 
inches to receive a row of six-inch glasses ; the 
second shelf a breadth of five inches, and the 
jars upon it measure four inches in diameter. 
The top shelf is only three and a half inches 
wide, and the glasses measure three inches 
across the top. The entire frame work has a 
breadth of about thirty-two inches, and a 
height, from the floor of the room to the level 
of the top shelf, of about sixty-six inches. 

The breadth and height of the window in 
which the cabinet is to be placed must have the 
first consideration with any one who may in- 
tend to construct such a piece of furniture ; the 
respective sizes of the vessels must be an after 
consideration, because, unless the whole be so 
adapted as that it shall enjoy a full share of 
uninterrupted daylight, very little progress can 
be effected, especially if the growth of the more 
delicate forms of aquatic vegetation be at- 
tempted. 

In the absence of a properly constructed set 
of shelves, a few plain ones may be fitted up in 
a window. A single strip of deal, on brackets, 
would afford room for a dozen jars, and in 
these, by judicious groupings, specimens of 
from fifty to a hundred kinds could be kept, 
whether for observation by the naked eye or 
the microscope. 

Our jars are now stocked with minute 
aquatic plants, beetles of several species, diving 
spiders, water worms and mites, larva ot 
beetles and flies, tadpoles in progress of trans- 
formation, mollusks of choice kinds and spawn 
of all kinds, removed from the tanks. Species 
that do not agree may be introduced to the 
bell glass, for the sake of teaching us the nature 
and incidents of the strife maintained in the 
great world out of doors ; the battle may there 
have its way, and we may study destruction 
with as much profit as we may the momentary 
creation, by which the system of Nature is 
maintained in its completeness. In fact, the 
bell glass is a reservoir into which we may dip 
for almost anything we want to fill up vacan- 



cies in the jars, and to which we may consign 
the superfluities of a day's collecting, having 
first assorted and set apart such as are wanted 
for separate observation and study. 



Aquaria Glassks Turning Green. 

Do yon know of any preventive against the glasse> turning 
green with a slimy substance if the water is not changed for 
some weeks. I have a good deal of trouble, and it is about the 
most disagreeable thing in keeping an aquarium arranged 
nicely. F. L. L. 

Your aquarium gets evidently too much light. 

Move it about twelve inches back from the 

window, toward the room, and let no sun shine 

against the glass. Once or twice a week wipe 

the inside of the glass with a small rough 

sponge tied to a stick. 



Aquarium Troubles. 

1 herew ith send another sketch showing location of my aqua- 
rium, and 1 will also give a further account of my management 
of it as well as I can. As I wrote in my previous letter, my 
aquarium is about 40 inches long, 16 inches deep and 18 
inches wide. I have in the bottom cleanly washed sand and 
very small pebbles ; in a common earthen flower jar, com- 
pletely submerged in the water, a calla ; no earth in the jar, 
nothing but fine sand. 1 also have a little moss, the variety ot 
which you may be able to recognize from sample enclosed. 
Since I received your letter I have added some larger pebbles, 
as you intimated they were necessary. I have forty or fifty 
fish, mostly goldfish, averaging about four inches long. Ot 
the native fish I have one-half dozen catfish about one inch 
long : the balance of my natives are small common brook fish. 
The water keeps a kind ot green color and frequently smells 
badly. It hardly ever, if at all, looks, or has, a milky color. 
I guess my feeding is wrong, lor I feed them very seldom in 
■winter, only about twice a week, and this winter I have fed 
them nothing but raw beef scraped fine from a large piece ; but 
I have always been careful to give them just what they would 
eat and no more. However, I gave them prepared fish food last 
winter and I had the same bad luck about keeping the water 
clear. Almost every day toward evening the fish begin to 
come to the surface of the water, but in the morning thev will 
the bottom swimming about feeding and apparently en- 
joying themselves very much. The four sides of my aquarium 
are glass. Should I clean out the aquarium when the water 
is in its present condition, or should I take out and throw a«.i\ 
the water and sand pebbles and replace everything new ? 
And should I let the new water stand some time before return- 
ing the fish ! 

I trust that with your information I may yet succeed with my 
aquarium. K. P. T. 

The capacity of your aquarium is about 
forty-five gallons. You have, in our judg- 
ment, about forty gallons of water in it. For 
the number offish that you keep this is an in- 



72 



NATURE'S REALM. 



sufficient quantity. Reduce the number to about 
thirty, introduce two or three more species of 
aquatic plants, also some Tuffstone rock work, 
and you will rind that your tank looks as good, 
•even better, than before, and the remaining fish 
will thrive better. 

That your fish rise to the surface and are in 
distress in the evening, while they are at the 
bottom and apparently comfortable in the 
morning, seems to prove that they have not the 
proper amount of oxygen. The burning gas 
in your office consumes most of the oxygen 
contained in the atmosphere, and the water 
can therefore absorb but little. 

The best way will be to empty your tank. 
Clean the bottom and the (inside) glass sides 
with common table salt, using your wet hand 
instead of a sponge or rag. Wash the sand 
and pebbles in several waters, then replace. 
Plant the plants, place the rock work and ar- 
range a couple of handfuls ot pretty good sized 
pebbles here and there over the sand, taking 
care, however, to place the individual pebbles 
not too close to each other. There are to be 



little spaces, cavities, on the bottom of an aqua- 
rium wherein the excrements ot the fish and 
other loose particles can collect, so the fish 
while swimming near the bottom cannot mix 
these again and again with the water. This is 
the mission pebbles have to fulfil in an aqua- 
rium. 

Everything replaced carefully, refill your 
tank, making theVater the same temperature 
the fish are accustomed to, add a teaspoonful 
of table salt and reintroduce the fish, together 
with about a dozen of frog tadpoles, which act 
as scavengers. 

Once in a while the sediment that collects 
between the pebbles should be removed by aid 
of a siphon. Let your aquarium have no sun- 
light. 

The plant of which you sent a sprig in your 
letter is the common wax or hornwort {Cerato- 
phyllum demcrsum, from keras — the horn 
or wax, and phyllum, the leaf, owing to the 
waxy or horny texture of the plant). It is a 
good oxygenator, although one of our com- 
monest native aquatic plants. 



NOTES AND QUERIES. 



[Under this Department Heading queries relative to all branches of Natural History will be answered.] 



Thk Great Turtle of Australia. 

An Australian lady sends to Land and 
Water, from Queensland, a description of a 
monster turtle and an outline drawing- of it, 
both of which we append : 

" We have had a visit from a monster turtle 
fish. I send a sketch of it. It let me stand for 
half an hour within five feet of it. 'When tired 
of my looking at it, it put its long neck and 
head into the water and swept around seaward, 
raising its huge dome-shaped body about five 
feet out of water, and put its twelve feet offish- 
like tail over the dry shore, elevating it at an 



round a very black eye and round upper and 
lower jaw. The body was dome-shaped, about 
eight feet across and five feet high, smooth and 
slate gray in color. Tail about twelve feet, 
the fish part wedge-shaped and fin of chocolate 
brown ; then beautiful sides shading to white ; 
scales size of thumb nail." 

To which the editor responds : 

" In the opinion of the authorities this turtle 
is the Carettochelys, a monster turtle known 
to exist at the mouth of the Fly River, New 
Guinea, which has a very long neck. The mu- 
seum at Sydney possesses the only known pre- 



law, 18 in. Neck and head, 6 ft. out Domed-shaped body, 8 ft. across, slate This part of tail 
of water. gray, smooth, about 5 ft. hi^h. about 2 ft. plated. 




Color, greenish white ; large, round, white 

spots; thick cord of chalk white round 

very black eye and round both jaws. 



angle. Then, giving its tail a half twist, it 
shot off like a flash of lightning, and I saw its 
tail in the air about a quarter of a mile off, 
where the steamers anchor. It has either teeth 
or serrated jaw-bones. Native blacks call it 
' Moka, moka,' and say they like to eat it, and 
that it has legs and fingers. I did not see its 
legs, as they were in the water. What I saw 
of it was about twenty-seven or twenty-eight 
feet, but I think it must be thirty feet in all. 
Whilst its head was out of the water it kept its 
mouth open, and, as I could not see any nos- 
trils, I lancy it breathes through its mouth. 
The jaws are about eighteen inches in length ; 
the head and neck greenish white, with large 
white spots on the neck, and a band of white 



Tail, about 12 ft. ; fish point of tail wedge 

shape and fin of a chocolate brown ; 

then beautiful sides shading to white. 

scales size of thumb nails. 

served specimen, and that is a dry one. The 
length and shape of the tail, as described, are, 
however, impossible, as no turtles have caudal 
appendages corresponding to the description, 
and the fair observer must have been mistaken 
on this very important point. Neither have 
turtles teeth, though the other points would 
correspond to the Carettochelys, We may 
add that the authorities at South Kensington 
are most anxious to obtain a specimen of the 
Carettochelys, and have offered a very hand- 
some sum for a specimen, or even a part ol 
one, which may lead to its further identifica- 
tion. The question is undoubtedly of interest 
to lovers of natural history." 



74 



NATURE'S REALM. 



A Curious Snake. 

In the fall ot 1869 I was in La Crosse, Wis., 
and having some business in La Crescent, on 
the Minnesota site of the Mississippi, I crossed 
the river in a ferry boat. There is, or was, an 
arm of the river on the Minnesota side, called 
in western parlance a "slew." Over this there 
is a bridge ; on going over it I saw a snake 
coiled on a " butt" that had been sawed off a 
tree of about two feet in diameter, and it was 
floating in the water. The snake was so dif- 
ferent from any animal of the kind I had ever 
before seen that I gazed on it for fully five min- 
utes. It was evidently asleep and within ten 
feet of me — was, in fact, directly under me as 
I leaned over the side of the bridge. The 
'•slew" had no current in it, tor the water 
was very low ; I had, therefore, ample oppor- 
tunity to observe the snake. It was red, and 
more extraordinary still, it was thickly covered 
with hair. It resembled no snake I had ever 
seen before. It was exactly like a red cow's 
tail. The hair on it was fully an inch long 
and as thick as that growing on a cow's tail. 
Having no means of capturing the snake, I de- 
termined to make it show itself, and flung a 
piece of stick at it. It awoke at the splash in 
the water, uncoiled itself and dived into the 
"slew." It was certainly six feet long or more. 

Can any reader of Nature's Realm say if 
such a snake has ever been seen in any of our 
western rivers ? I have told some dozens of 
people in La Crosse about it, among them Mr. 
Davidson, of the Clyde House, but none ot 
them remembered to have ever seen such a 
snake. Mr. Davidson is the best known sports- 
man in La Crosse, and it is strange that he 
never should have seen any snake like it. 

T. O. Russell. 



The Sky Lark. 
Can Nature's Realm or any of its readers 
inform me if any serious effort has yet been 
made by the general government, a State gov- 
ernment or a private individual, to import the 
sky lark ? Judging from an article that ap- 
peared in Nature some months ago, one 
would think that this most noted and interest- 
ing of birds would find a genial habitat in 
many places on this continent. For my part I 



see nothing whatever to hinder the Sky lark 
from living and thriving all along our Atlantic 
seaboard from New York to North Carolina. 
The sky lark is not altogether a granivorous 
bird ; it feeds principally on grubs and worms. 
It is hardy and can stand great varieties of 
temperature. It is found in parts of conti- 
nental Europe where the climate is quite as se- 
vere as on our Atlantic seaboard between the 
points mentioned. The sky lark is a bird of 
great power of flight, and were it once accli- 
mated here it would soon learn to emigrate 
from one locality to another as it does in Eu- 
rope. It is well known that these birds cross 
the sea to the British Isles in vast numbers 
every autumn from the more northerly parts 
of continental Europe, where the winters are 
much more severe than in Great Britain or Ire- 
land. 

There is at least one part of this continent 
where the sky lark would certainly live and 
thrive if introduced, and that is on the Pacific 
coast between Vancouver's Island and latitude 
35° north. The climate of this part of the 
American continent is almost the same as that 
ot western and southwestern Europe — the nat- 
ural country of the sky lark. Without govern- 
ment aid it will be, in my opinion, impossible 
to plant the sky lark in America. Vast num- 
bers of the young birds would have to be 
brought over and let loose in different locali- 
ties. There would be very little difficulty in 
procuring any number of them in almost any 
part of Europe. They are caught in nets in 
the fall of the year by hundreds of thousands and 
sold to poulterers and butchers. Heaven for- 
bid, however, that Americans should ever be- 
come sky lark eaters ! We want the bird for 
its song and not for its flesh. 

There is no possible cause to fear that the 
sky lark would become a nuisance in this 
country if domiciled in it. It causes abso- 
lutely no damage in the countries it inhabits, 
for it is more of a grub than a grain eater. 

It is to be ardently desired that Nature's 
Realm and all publications of a kindred nature 
in this country will not cease agitating the 
subject until the general government takes 
some steps about introducing the sky lark and 
giving it a new home in America. R. 



NATURES REALM. 



75 



Two West African Fishes. 

" Sarcf.i.i.f.."— We have had the photographs 
you sent us reproduced. Fig. I represents the 
Pagrus unicolor, Gunther. It does not reach 
American waters, being found most frequently 
on the western coast of Africa. It is allied to 
the "snapper" and " porgy " of our waters. 
Dr. David S. Jordan gives it the scientific name 
of Sparus unicolor. 

Fig. 2 represents another non-American fish, 
Lithia vadigo, which belongs to the family of 
horse mackerels or tunnies. With the genus 
Lithia ichthyologists are not entirely familiar, 
and Gunther dismisses it with a few lines. In 
our Atlantic waters we have several species of 



which lions were found to have a small claw or 
prickle attached to the tips of their tails. After 
stating that it has long been a popular, though 
erroneous, impression that lions and lionesses 
lash themselves with their tails to stimulate 
their rage, and that they were furnished with 
this prickle at the termination of the caudal 
appendage in order to do so, the writer goes 
on to observe : 

" ' Mr. Bennett detected it in the tip of the 
tail of a young Barbary lion. Blumenbach 
had previously ascertained the fact of its exist- 
ence in a specimen examined by himself in 
1829. Monsieur Deshayes announced the ex- 
istence of this prickle in a lion and lioness 




Fig. i 

the horse mackerel, but, although many of 
them are taken by the market fishermen, they 
are not esteemed as food, although highly 
prized as such in the Old World from the time 
of the ancient Romans to the present day. 



Thf Claw in the Lion's Tail. 

Quite an interesting correspondence, pro and 
con, as to the existence of a claw in the tuft of 
a lion's tail, is now being printed in our London 
exchanges. We excerpt the most important 
paragraphs : 

" I have seen it stated in an old natural his- 
tory book that instances have been known in 



Pagrus unicolor. 

which died in the Paris Menagerie. Mr. 
Woods detected it only once out of numerous 
lions which he purposely examined. He also 
found a similar prickle on the tail of an Asiatic 
leopard. This prickle is in fact only occasion- 
ally present It is not connected with the cau- 
dal vertebra?, but, as Mr. Woods says, appears 
to be inserted into the skin like the bulb of a 
bristle ; but Monsieur Deshayes asserts that it 
is of a conical shape, and adheres to the skin 
by its base, as does also Blumenbach. We are 
inclined to think that it is nothing more than 
indurated and partially detached cuticle. 
Certainly it falls off on the slightest touch.' 
" I think, if this latter is a fact, it is very cu- 



76 



NA TUBE'S REALM. 



rious, for any one who has any knowledge of 
the felines must know that they use consider- 
able force when lashing their tails. What I 
should like to know therefore is : First, has 
Mr. Parker Gilmore, or any of your readers 
who have killed lions or leopards, observed the 
existence of this prickle ? Secondly, does it 
come off on the death of the animal ? Thirdly, 
what, in their opinion, is its use ? Fourthly, is 
it straight or curved ? 

" I have assisted in the skinning of several 
tigers and panthers, and cannot say that I ever 
observed the existence of this prickle ; but, as 
the writer whom I have quoted above says that 
it occurs only in comparatively rare cases, this 
is not to be wondered at." 



animals themselves have an excess of stern ac- 
tion, now much modified in our modern beau- 
ties. 

" That this callosity should fall off soon after 
the death of its late proprietor I can quite be- 
lieve, for I noticed during native wars in South 
Africa that, after a victim had lain dead several 
hours, the callow skin on the soles of the slain 
commenced to detach itself. Many of our of- 
ficers who served in Zululand can attest the 
truth of this statement. 

"As to lions stimulating themselves into 
anger by lashing their flanks — well, it is as 
true as the babyroussa yarn told Goldsmith. 
When a lion charges it carries its tail almost 
horizontally with the ground and stiff as a 




Fig. 2 — Lithia vadigo. 



To which another writer responds : 
" With regard to the spike on the tip of the 
lion's tail, there are just the slightest, most 
flimsy grounds that can possibly be imagined 
for such a supposition. And they are the fol- 
lowing: Aged animals of this species, and ol 
both sexes, have a callous termination to the 
tuft, and hidden by the long hair, which may 
be designated a callosity. This is doubtless 
caused by the tail coming in contact with 
brush and other hard substances when rapidly 
moved to and fro. The same can frequently 
be observed on dogs, especially among point- 
ers of the old school and land spaniels of the 
present date, and, doubtless, from this arose 
the habit of removing two or three terminal 
joints of the vertebrce of these breeds. In 
Southern France and Spain this custom still 
prevails in regard to pointers ; but their dogs 
are constantly used in thick cover, while the 



mop-handle. Just previous, or when contem- 
plating charging, the tail is considerably ele- 
vated over the horizontal line and entirely des- 
titute of any movement. However, if the ob- 
server be sufficiently close, a twitching motion 
may be noted in the half-recumbent ears of the 
intending aggressive beast." 



The Flower Clock. 

The hour at which each flower opens is itself 
so uniform that, by watching them, floral 
clocks of sufficient accuracy can be arranged. 
Father Kircher had dreamed of it, but vaguely 
and without pointing out anything ; it is to 
Linnaeus that we must ascribe the ingenious 
idea of indicating all the hours by the time at 
which plants open or shut their corollas. The 
Swedish botanist had created a flower clock for 
the climate which he inhabited ; but, as in our 



NA TL RES REALM. 



77 



latitudes, a more brilliant and radiant dawn 
makes the flowers earlier. Lamarck was obliged 
to construct for France another clock, which is 
a little in advance of the Swedish one. We 
quote from Pouchet : 

AT WHICH THE 
FLOWnS OPEN. PLAHTS ON WHICH THE OBSERVATIONS 

MORNING. WERE MADE. 

3 to 5 o'clock, Tragopogon pratense yellow . 

beard or salsify . 

4 to - Cichorium intyous chicory . 

5 " Sonchus oleraceus sow-thistle . 

5 to t Leontodon taraxacum dandelion . 

6 Hieracium umbellatum umbellate 

hawkweed . 

6 to 7 Hieracium imirorutn wall hawk- 

weed . 

7 Lactuca sativa lettuce . 

7 Nymphaea alba white water lily . 

7 to S " Me^embryanthemum barbatum. 

5 " AnagaHis arveosis field pimpernel 

or poor man's weather gi 
" Calendula arvensis field mangold . 

9 to io " mbrvanthemum crystallinum 

ice plant . 
loton •' M>-embryanlhemum iiodifloiuin 

EVEV 

5 o'clock, Nyctago hortensis. 

6 " rannim triste. 
6 " Silene noctiflora. 

9 to io o'clock. Cactus grandiflorus. 



Can Dogs Talk ? 

At the Box Hotel in Crookston, Minn., some 
six years ago, my attention was more than 
once called to two dogs that were allowed to 
loiter about in the hotel office. These dogs 
were the greatest of friends ; in fact, so 
"chummy" as to call forth admiration from 
the various hotel guests. So prints the Kansas 
City Star. 

One afternoon one of the dogs, which had 
been basking in the sun on the floor of the of- 
fice, suddenly gave a bound and started for the 
door. I immediately stepped to the door and 
opened it, and the dog passed out, going in the 
direction of the Manitoba depot, where I ob- 
served some ten or twenty other dogs holding 
a pow-wow. Then I closed the door and re- 
sumed my seat. Immediately I heard a ter- 
rible commotion in the direction in which the 
dog had gone. Stepping to the door I observed 
that a full-fledged dog fight had begun. Ar- 
riving at the scene of the battle I found that 
my dog friend of a few minutes previous was 
the under brute in a big fracas. He was howl- 



ing with pain, while a big Newfoundland dog 
stood over him making the fur fly. A blow on 
the canine's cranium from a ball club in the 
hands of a small urchin who stood hard by, 
soon put a stop to the Newfoundland's ferocity. 
The under brute started for home pell mell, 
and when I arrived at the hotel I found the 
poor brute at the office door, bleeding and 
bruised, awaiting admission. I opened the 
door and passed into the office, the dog follow- 
ing me. 

Lying on the floor, in close proximity to the 
office stove, reposed the sleeping carcass of my 
little bested friend's companion. He was a 
large brute of the mongrel species — a cross 
between a bulldog and a mastiff. The poor, 
conquered brute, upon entering the office pro- 
ceeded in the direction in which his dog friend 
lay stretched upon the floor, and, going up to 
him, commenced to sniff at him Irom head to 
foot. Presently the sleeping dog rose to a sit- 
ting position, and, gazing at his conquered 
triend some two or three minutes, seemed to 
take in the situation at once — that his dogship 
had but lately received a terrible whipping. 
After a little more sniffing on the part "of the 
conquered brute, both dogs started toward the 
door. I stepped to the door, opened it, and the 
dogs passed out. Both dogs started in the di- 
rection of the depot platform, some 400 or 500 
feet south of the hotel, where they espied sev- 
eral dogs, among their number being the big 
Newfoundland, the object of their vengeance. 
Going up to the big Newfoundland dog, my 
little conquered friend curled up his tail and 
commenced to growl, the big Newfoundland 
dog likewise, each dog going round and round 
in a circuitous route while thus parleying, the 
big hotel dog in the meantime standing hard 
by watching proceedings. Presently the big 
hotel dog gave a spring and landed a good 
hold on the jaw of his big opponent. Both 
dogs reared in the air, the Newfoundland com- 
ing down the under dog, and the chewing he 
received in that fracas I suppose he never for- 
got, my little conquered friend nipping the big 
rascal from behind at every chance presenting 
itself. To be candid about it, the hair from 
the hide of that poor martyred Newfoundland 
actually filled the air, and a worse whipped 
dog never slunk from the field of battle. 



78 



AVJ TL'RE'S REALM. 



Answers to Correspondents. 
" Youngster" asks why a dog generally turns around three 
or four times before he lies down to sleep? It is supposed 
that this singular and almost invariable practice is one ot the 
dog's natural instincts, altered or modified to his domesticated 
life ; for, when in a wild state, he takes up his night's quar- 
ters in a field of tall, withered grass, or among reeds or 
rushes ; thus, wheeling round, he separates the vegetation in 
the spot where he is to lie, and forms a bed with overhanging 
curtains all around for his protection and warmth. 

"C. L. R." is interested in the variety of motions that the 
trunk ot an elephant has the power to make, and asks the 
reason why this is so. We answer : There are a great num- 
ber of muscles in an elephant's trunk. They have their in- 
sertion in the external coverings of the trunk, and they lie in 
a great variety of directions, some longitudinal, some nearly 
circular and others oblique. They number no less than 4,000, 
which is considerably greater than the number in the whole 
human body. Maunder writes : " The trunk of the elephant 
may justly be considered as one of the miracles of Nature, 
being at once the organ of respiration as well as the instru- 
ment by which the animal supplies itself with food. Nearly 
eight feet in length, endowed with exquisite sensibility, and 
stout in proportion to the massive size of the animal, this organ 
will uproot trees or gather grass — raise a piece of artillery or 
take up a nut, kill a man or brush off a fly. It conveys the food 
to the mouth and pumps up enormous draughts of water, 
which, by its recurvature, are turned into and driven down the 
capacious throat or showered over the body. Its length sup- 
plies the place of a long neck, which would have been incom- 
patible with the support of the large head and weighty tusks. 
A glance at, the head of an elephant will show the thickness 
and strength of the trunk at its insertion, and the massy, 
arched bones of the face, and thick, muscular neck, are admir- 
ably adapted for supporting and working this powerful and 
wonderful instrument." 

"Amateur," who is interested in the albino question, will 
doubtless be so in the following description of a swallow with 
pure white plumage. It will add to his elaborate notes on this 
subject, which he kindly promises to put into shape and give 
them to the readers of Nature's Realm : " Ornithologists in 
Paris are much interested in the discovery of a rare bird in the 
shape of a snow-white swallow. This novel specimen of the 
feathered tribe came to life lately in a nest which was built by 
the parent bird under the eaves of a glass roof covering a court 
in the extensive manufactory of a tradesman residing in the 
district of Crenelle. The white bird was born with two black 
specimens, one of which flew away as soon as it was fledged, 
whereupon the tradesman, in order to keep the other two, 
transformed the glass-roofed court into a temporary aviary. 
Photographs have been taken of the snow-white swallow and 
will be sent to the leading naturalists of the city. One of them 
went to Grenelle in order to study the feathered curiosity. 
This gentleman was, however, too late to see the bird alive. 
It perished, probably, because too much care was taken of it 
or through fright at the number of people who came to stare at 
it as a natural curiosity. The dead bird will now be stuffed 
and sent to the museum of the Botanical Gardens, where there 
is already a white magpie, which still lives and hops about 
among its companions, from which it only differs in color." 

A correspondent, "J. G. W.," asks us what term is applied 
to a number of peacocks when gathered together. We reply, 
"a muster of peacocks," and, as the subject is an interesting 



one, we append the generally accepted terms for groups ot 
animals, according to an English authority: "A herd ot 
swine, a skulk of foxes, a pack of wolves, a drove of oxen or 
cattle, a sounder of hogs, a troop of monkeys, a pride of lions, 
a sleuth of bears, a band of horses, a herd of ponies, a covey 
ot partridges, a nide of pheasants, a wisp of snipe, a school of 
whales, a shoal of herrings, a run of fish, a flight of doves, a 
siege of herons, a building of rooks, a brood of grouse, a 
swarm of bees, gnats, flies, etc., a stand of flowers, a watch of 
nightingales, a cast of hawks, a flock of geese, sheep, goats, 
etc., a bevy of girls, a gallery of stars and a crowd of men or 
boys." 



In the Woods. 



The eye may catch, thro' foliage densely green, 
Glimpses of streams that flow thro' banks serene, 
Foaming o'er rocks or dashing 'neath a line 
By Nature's caprice cast of bright sunshine. 
Mos>es and daintiest terns and flowers outspread, 
Fill the deep hollows, while the trees o'erhead, 
Willow and ash and lime, with honied blooms, 
And plumy pine trees with their spic'd perfumes, 
Brighten with light, where glancing sunbeams came, 
Misty with shade, or dazzling bright with flame ; 
And yet so changeful, that capricious light, 
That spots late dim with shade flash'd silver bright. 

There's ever a calm beauty in the scene, 

A radiance on slopes and uplands green, 

A light that glorifies the lichen'd face 

Of mossy boulders in each rugged space. 

When thou dost walk by river or brook-streams, 

With all their glooms, with all their changeful gleams, 

With their glad prattle and their jocund play, 

Swift glides the hours and lovely smiles the day. 

Deep in these woods 'tis pleasant to recline, 

Where beams of sultry noon thro' drooping forests shine; 

There, 'neath a foliag'd beech or pine tree shade, 

Or by some ash tree, sweet is refuge made. 

Then shrilly sounds the locust's mid-day hum, 
But silent all the katydids and beetle's drum ; 
Scarce heard the flitting gnat and buzzing fly, 
Or wood dove's plaint, 'till sultry hours go by. 

Deep in those groves 'tis pleasant to repose 
When passing breeze with tremulous cadence blows, 
Now swelling with a blast, like organ peal, 
And now so soft they scarce on senses steal. 
How lair those groves when starry spheres illume, 
And flooding moonbeams dissipate the gloom ; 
Thro' densest shades their lances pierce the wood 
And fill with radiance all the solitude. 

Dear to the angler's heart those tufted groves, 

Whose foliaged branches overhang the stream, 
Some full-brimm'd river dashing on its way, 

Now dim in shadow and now bright in gleam. 
They greet, they beckon him with all their leaves, 

They welcome him with silences and sound, 
Their birds with liquid operas invite, 

Their wild flowers all his wandering steps surround. 

He seeks the woods that hem St. Lawrence Gulf, 
And there, where rush the torrents to the deep, 



NATURE'S REALM. 



79 



He casts the luring fly with vigorous hand, 
And takes the lordly salmon as they leap. 

He seeks the depths of Adirondack wilds, 

Where the primeval forests weave their shade, 

And there his feather'd hook and pliant rod 
Take springing trout from ripple and cascade. 

Isaac Mc Leila n. 



. The Thrush's Song. 

Listen to the thrush's sadd'ning song 

Deep in the forest glade, 

Where perched within the shade, 
He sings the whole day long ; 
Sweet, yet sad the notes he trills, 
His dulcet harmony thrills. 

Vet, though his notes are sad, he sings of love , 

Of happiness profound : 

With joy abound 
The creatures of his house, the verdant grove. 
In rivalry the happy songsters chirp and sing, 
A minstrelsy of love and he is king. 

We know him by his penetrating, pleasing song, 

Sweet bird of silvery tongue, 

With Nature's m-lody strung : 
Attune with heavenly harp thy sweetest strains prolong. 
Ah ! during winter's grasp the grove is still ; 
Then vainly do we pause to hear thy gentle trill. 

W. G. 



A Heated Well. 

A strange phenomenon is reported from the 
Indian Nation. Some time ago a white man 
named Chas. Gooding, living near Goodland, 
a station on the Frisco Road in the Choctaw 
Nation, employed an Irish well-digger, Mike 
Duhaney, to sink a well on his place. Du- 
haney began work and had reached a depth of 
sixty feet. At noon Saturday, after eating din- 
ner, his assistants began lowering him back 
into the well to resume work, but he had 
hardly gone twenty feet when he screamed to 
them to pull him out quick, that he was burn- 
ing up. As hurriedly as possible he was 
hoisted out, but on reaching the surface was 
unconscious and it required two hours' hard 
work to restore him. He was found in a piti- 
able condition, his clothing being scorched un- 
til it crumbled at the touch, and his body was 
fearfully blistered. The intense heat seemed 
to raise from the bottom, and a coat lying on 
the windlass, and the rope wound around it, 
were all charred until they broke into frag- 
ments at a touch. No flame could be seen. 
Simply an intense heat could be felt. 



The denizens of the neighborhood are not 
only puzzled but badly scared, as they do not 
know what will next happen, their mildest idea 
being that a volcano slumbers beneath. 



Speed of Wasps and Bi 
A writer in the Scot's Observer says that he 
has sprinkled individual wasps and bees with 
rose-colored powder, and has found that thus 
handicapped they could with ease keep up with 
the fastest trains when speeding down " Shap 
Summit," the steepest gradient in Scotland. 
Nor were these carried along in the rush of air 
caused by the train. They would come in and 
out of the window, sometimes disappearing for 
a minute or more, but frequently returning 
again and again. At distances of from five to 
ten miles they dropped behind, when others 
took their place. 



The Land of Ducks. 
There are more ducks in the Chinese Em- 
pire, says an authority, than in all the world 
outside of it. They are kept by the Celestials 
on every farm, on the private roads, on the 
public roads, on streets of cities and on all the 
lakes, ponds, rivers, streams and brooks in the 
country. Every Chinese boat also contains a 
batch of them. There are innumerable hatch- 
ing establishments all through the Empire, 
many of which are said to turn out about 50.000 
young ducks every year. Salted and smoked 
ducks and duck's eggs constitute two of the 
most common and important articles of diet in 
China. 



Eternal Growth. 

Even the things that seem to die, 

But change their form, to spring again 
In form more fair, in worth more high, 

Through Nature's ceaseless travail pain ; 
As fecund seed to earth consigned 

Decays, yet yields a hundred-fold, 
As faggots burned still leave behind 

Their substance, which no power can hold. 
By herb-fed flesh our life is nursed, 
But earth, herbs' food, was rock at first. 
Thus Nature strains from high to higher, 
And all things toward their source aspire. 

Clou J '. Irgtnt, 



NATURES REALM, 

A MONTHLY MAGAZINE, THE 

ONLY PUBLICATION IN THE WORLD 

DEVOTED SOLELY TO 

POPULAR NATURAL HISTORY. 



CONTENTS OF FEBRUARY NUMBER. 
Farm Tenants Frederic Howard 

In the Kingdom of Frost Charles Hallock 

Lorene — A Story of a Dog Samuel Parker 

Vegetable Life Arthur F. Riee 

Where All is Life (Verse) John P. Silvernail 

The Cuckoo — A Mysterious Bird T. O. Russell 

Among the Tigers of India Asian 

To a Violet Found Blooming in November (Verse) Albert Bigelow Paine 

A Few Humming Bird Notes Oliver 

The Song of the Ruby-Crowned Kinglet Dr. Morris Gibbs 

A Day Among the Kangaroos Wm. Senior 

THE AQUARIUM. 
The Water Cabinet. Aquarium Troubles. Aquaria Glasses Turning Green. 

NOTES AND QUERIES. 

The Great Turtle of Australia. A Curious Snake. 

The Sky Lark. Two West African Fishes. 

The Claw in the Lion's Tail. The Flower Clock. 

Can Dogs Talk ? Answers to Correspondents. 

In the Woods. The Thrush's Song. 

A Heated Well. Speed of Wasps and Bees. 

The Land of Ducks. Eternal Growth. 

All the above articles are original and written especially for Nature's Realm. 
The Aquarium Department is conducted by Hugo Mulertt, who will answer all que- 
ries relative to the construction and conduct of Aquaria. The Note and Query De- 
partment is especially opened to record the observations and experiences of amateur 
naturalists who desire to commune one with the pther, and to give permanency and 
publicity to their field or closet work. 

Nature's Realm is issued on the first of each month and contains 52 pages, 
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Address 

THE HARRIS PUBLISHING COMPANY, 

10 Warren Street, New York 



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is our latest camera. Its name 
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Knack send to the Scovill & 
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Oct the Genuine. 



HUGO MULERTT, 

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And Apparatus for Object Teaching in Natural History Established 1874 at Cincinnati. Ohio. 

212 SANDFORD ST. near DeKalb Ave. (no store) .... BROOKLYN, N. Y. 



Vol. II.. No. 3. 



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Popular Natural History 



William C. Harris, Managing Editor. 
SUBSCRIPTION PRICE. - - $2.00 PER ANNUM. 



CONTENTS. 
Highland Manse Robert Campbell Auld 

The Seventeen-year Locust W. M. Kohl 

The Invisible World F. A. Fouchet, M D. 

Old-time Hunters and Trappers Samuel Parker 

The Old Live Oak Tree— The Ugly Brown Stone . . Stewart E. White 

The Birds Victorious M. B. M. Toland 

ulcet Days in the Berkshire Hills Charles Hallock 

On the ' ' Gila Monster " Professor S Garman 

The Alligator of Florida Isaac McLellan 

The Hermit Thrush Stewart E. White 

The American Cuckoo Morris Gibbs, M. D. 

Buzzards, Hawks and Eagles in Southern California.. 7. H Morrow 

The Aquarium Conducted by Hugo Mulertt 



NOTES AND QUERIES. 

The " Alma Perdita " Bird. Globular Lightning. 

A Phenomenal Icicle. The Glaciers of Alaska. 

A Few Notes. Data for a l-arge Collection of 

The Turkey Buzzard. Eggs. 



PUBLISHED BV 

THE HARRIS PUBLISHING CO., 

10 Warren St., Nkw York. 
J. KUNE EMMET. JR. Prut. II. R II ARRI» ,tm -j »n.l Tr»»i 



NATURE'S REALM. 



Vol. ii. 



MARCH, 1891. 



No. 3. 



A HIGHLAND MANSE. 



liv Robert C 

There are days which occur at almost any season of the year, 
wherein Nature reaches its perfection ; where the heavens and 
the earth produce harmony as if that Nature would indulge her 
offspring. * * * We bask in the shining hours, * * * 
where everything that has life gives signs of satisfaction ; and 
the cattle that lie on the ground seem to have great and tran- 
quil thoughts. * * * The day, immeasurably long, sleeps 
over the broad hills and warm, wide fields. The solitary 
places do not seem so lonely. To have lived through all its 
solitary hours seems longevity itself. —From Emerson's essay 
on " Nature." 

The Manse of Glencomie is cosily and pleas- 
antly situated on the brow of a hill that rises 
sheer from the Glen Burn. It is confined in its 
rear by some stretches of loamy fields. These, 
dignified by the name of "parks," were very 
irregularly shaped indeed, and, to the number 
of about half a dozen, constituted the "Glebe." 
Glebe lands are generally not the poorest in the 
parish. The Glencomie Manse lands were, as 
the country phrase went, " weel laid oot " and 
in "guid he'rt," for "the Doctor, ye ken, was 
a gran' fairmer." The arrangement, too, of 
these parks was very peculiar, but this only- 
added to the picturesque quaintness of the 
other surroundings. They swept here, curved 
there and disappeared everywhere. Each was 
enclosed by a rank, sedgy ditch, banked by a 
" sunk " mossy dyke, beyond which the view 
was skirted by a luxury of solemn fir, gaudy 
rowan, gray ash and gay birch. In front, 
down there along the foot of the lawn, which 
was the edge of the steep of the burn, was a 
line of noble sauch-willows of pver fifty years' 
growth. These had been planted there the 
same year as the " placing o' the present meen- 
ister." They bent their great gaunt limbs and 
their gracefully topped forms to the southwest- 



AMPBELL AULD. 

ern breeze with curious ease. Deeper down 
still were a thick round-headed clump of alders- 
with their funny dependent plume-like inflores- 
cences. These thick heads hid and hedged in 
the burn. This was the limpid, liquid, run- 
ning, glistening and restless occupant of a 
lovely rocky channel ; a rift in nature, making 
a lucky romantic dell for boyish and girlish 
pranks. Air and light penetrated this suffi- 
ciently from the other side and encouraged all 
sorts of fantastic growth to hold in its embrace 
the regardless little stream. Bare, sheer-faced 
surfaces, sharp jutting edges, steps of grassy 
ledges, dark-xooked recesses, carpets of green- 
hued softness, hemmed or stemmed the tide. 
And where the chr.nnel widened the dark water 
spread itself thinly, clearly, over a gravelly, 
shingly bed. Everywhere there was a rank 
growth. Such growth '. Summer glory ol 
transparent delicate green, filmy, feathery 
fern, rush and reed ; mossy, dripping, glassy- 
surfaced, pebbly mixture. Here a spark ot 
floral red, there a bunch of blue or golden yel- 
low ; all enhancing the ethereal charm. 
Through all this maze and myth fled in care- 
less awe the "silvery streak," or deep, dark 
burn, with its mysterious lullaby in this strange, 
early summer hour. Through all this it gaily 
purled and swirled, plunged and plashed, gur- 
gled and babbled, struggled and stumbled ; 
o'er easy shingle, into deep, dark pot. o'er 
rocky bar or ambitious fall ; hiding in many a 
cranny, confined in narrowing bounds, or wan- 
dering o'er sudden widening shallow ; flowing, 
ever changing, never ending, the silver 
clashed with a frothy, bronzy bree. The water 



S2 



NATURE'S REAL M. 



was really a dark bubbling brew sucked from 
many a peaty ooze away up in the moor ; silver 
sheened and iron-bronzed. 

And what a trouting one got there ! How 
it charmed Master Dolphy and his particular 
friends ! Strangers at Manse breakfasts were 
astounded at the rich colored fish, so plump 
and well flavored. They were caught at early 
dawn by Master Dolphy. This was indeed the 
only enticement that was ever known to draw 
this young gentleman from his sluggish couch 
sooner than the last breakfast bell, when he 
had to make a hurried, slovenly rush to get to 
his place before the anticipatory grace of the 
painfully precise "Doctor." "Ah!" laughed 
Master Dolphy in these years of precocious 
volubility, as the tempting, steaming, delicate 
fish were served around to the ea*ger guests, 
"' Ah 1 they are the real Glencomie speckle- 
backs." The burn, though, hastens on, wend- 
ing its fretful way down to the Peel of the 
Auch, thence to the Auch Loch itself, another 
fishy-finned, as well as feathery-winged, resort. 

Ah ! this burn was a fairy-peopled haunt. 
Long have we lingered amid its charms, ab- 
sorbed in its varied aspects of golden dappling 
and variegating sunshine, or the silvery glint- 
ing, and thus so often scary, eerie moon-night 
light. 

The Manse itself was, by an indefinable 
something about it, at once seen to be "aboove 
th' ordinar"," though it was a bare-walled, 
straggling structure. Its many wings spread 
out puzzlingly awry. There was nothing about 
its gray white extent of cold, hard, harled walls 
to relieve their unplacid monotony, except at 
one awkward ga'le, a few streaks of young, 
hard-skinned ivy spreading out like opened 
fingers. These leaf-gripping cords seemed to 
mak» a desperate claim for support and pity. 
The Manse was about three times the size of 
any apparent necessity. The pile had been 
successively, wing by wing, added to at evi- 
dently very different times to accommodate the 
difficulties of parochial heritors' tightness. Its 
outward morphology therefore gave the idea 
•of a rather complicated internal arrangement 
of chambers and passages, queer-shaped rooms 
and crooked alleys, floors of annoyingly vary- 
ing level, with narrow, winding and steep 



stairs. "Ah!" but of course would exclaim 
Master Dolphy, "what hide and seek pranks 
we can play' — to the most amusingly sup- 
pressed exasperation of the terribly serene and 
dignifiedly long-suffering Doctor. But the 
merest glance from the outside in at the win- 
dows discovered the key to the sort of life that 
was led within. The clear, transparent bright- 
ness of the window panes, with just a little bit of 
old-fashioned, richly carved oak furniture forc- 
ing itself into view against the heavy edge of 
the thick, mossy curtain from behind which it 
peeped so slyly, just over a dainty little stand, 
too, that always bore some gay-colored hya- 
cinth or less effusive geranium. A bar of 
bright red higher up indicated an old-fashioned 
window blind. Heavily draped and well pre- 
served in color, thickly surfaced, richly pat- 
terned, too, and subduedly tinted, hung the 
curtains which fringed the sides of the bright 
windows. All this hinted at some more deli- 
cate charm other than that the sole undornestic 
sterner sex could produce within. Ah ! so ! 
Yes, there was Tibbie, who reigned as queen- 
mistress and "housekeeper" (what a dear 
name to some thoughtful girls !) since that 
sore night that had taken the former Manse 
mother so mysteriously away from her. Tib- 
bie proved a rare blessing to her father, and 
indeed to everybody within and without the 
Manse and far around. 

The serene composure that had ruled within 
the Manse had perhaps been influenced by the 
close contiguity of the churchyard with its fre- 
quent solemn remindings. The door of the 
Manse faced the little private gate entrance to 
the God's-acre. From the peculiar conforma- 
tion of the ground the surface of the latter was 
on a much higher level than the Manse itself. 
The " kirk-yaird " was thus reached through 
the "yett" by ascending some narrow, age- 
worn stone steps imbedded in the mossy- 
patched, grassy-tufted, lichen-plastered side 
walls that were continued around and confined 
the "yaird." The steps were worn and rain 
washed ; the little iron gate was rusty and hung 
heavily, almost helplessly, on one apparently 
creaking hinge. There was a sacred reluc- 
tance to interfere with the influence of unre- 
pairing time. The " Aul' Kirk," standing 



NATURE'S REALM. 



83 



away in a corner, was a great, gaunt, plain, 
square " biggin'," with a high pitched roof and 
narrow peaked windows and confined doors. 
The walls were of granite, rough dressed ex- 
cept at their corners or edges. The roughen- 
ing edge of time had here also smoothed down 
the sharp brand-newness of masons' delight. 
The gables were high pitched, and at each end 
were the entrances to the sacred house. The 
doors were half folding, of oaken strength, 
skinned and wasped all over their grained sur- 
faces. The steep roof presented no break in 
its monotony except at the end further from 
the Manse, the west end. Here was the only, 
if it could be so called, architectural feature ol 
the rigidly plain and simple Gothic pile. This 
■was the high stilted belfry. And in that even 
the bell hung half turned over. 

Withal the kirk-yaird had, to sensitive youth, 
-an eerie enough and awesome enough appear- 
ance. The kirk-yaird was like many others, 
little touched by human hands, so long, appa- 
rently, that no too ghastly growth, too rank or 
weedy, made itself over conspicuous or too ob- 
trusive to view from beyond. Away with the 
trimness, the primness, the shorn forlorness of 
straight-edged path and grass plot, as is en- 
tailed on modern "city cemeteries!" Who 
loves such ? Who can lie there comfortably 
after having once delivered himself to Mother 
Earth ? Give me the centuries-old resting 
place of the lonely Highland glen; give me its 
mossy-grown walls, its rutted rones, its green 
damp stones that are rude, rough hewn and 
well nigh disappearing out of sight, and unde- 
cipherable. Let no prim, ephemeral artifice 
disturb the wild beauty growth above and 
around our dust. Let pure nature, without 
any of its rankness or grossness, spread iis own 
thick veil over our head, [fit will, let the grass 
move our headstone, and let the moss obliter- 
ate the letters telling our unadorned baptismal 
name. Here where we linger would be a 
pleasant resting place. Here the stones are in 
all half-buried positions or sunk near out of 
sight. The older ones, some of them, have 
strange devices and legends if we could take 
patience to trace them out. Skull and cross 
bones, armorial bearings, all yielding to grad- 
ually obscuring obliteration— crumbling down 



material for plant growth. How gaunt and 
grotesque they are, as if they had been placed 
there as stolid sentinels till doomsday. Every- 
thing is as still, too, as the death emblems 
around. And it is a high summer's noonday. 

As still as death ! Or is it that we have been 
so abstractedly absorbed ? Yes ! surely ; for 
gradually we have seemed to get into some 
nearer communion with that very Nature. 
Nature ? Ah ! yes. That is always busy, 
even in death. Listen ! The air above, and 
even amongst the vegetation at our feet, seems 
waging ever one unweary battle, struggling 
for its own being. The hum of the insect, the 
flit of its wing, all is busy hurry-skurry. The 
sudden moment's glitter of a beaded thread 
evidences the cunning life of many a silent yet 
busy living thing. The high-strung, tremulous 
murmur that rustles among the leaves and 
blades becomes more knowable. Could we 
but see even a little, but a very little, closer 
into the teeming leaves and blades ; could we 
see these adding on ceil to cell, and width and 
height to their growing sides and lengthening 
tips ! Now, raising the vision just above the 
ground, is seen that warm, glowing, airy wave; 
life's medium creeping above earth as high as 
the serenity of the pure azure lift. 

All seems so perfect in sympathy, and still 
yet so strange, as if there was a stealing away 
to some realler sphere of more certain peace, 
away from worldly strifes and strivings, all the 
while dimming one's sense of presentness and 
filling one instead with a full and fuller dread 
feeling of immediate presentiment. Worldly 
strife ! Oh ! what a double meaning a cunning 
vocabulary can give ! 

This day and this hour ; how long has it not 
been remembered, and so well ? Sitting silently 
and so sadly on a hoary headstone of a lineal 
ancestor, long, so long, dust ; filled with the 
strangeness of the nearness to the unseen, yet 
never attaining any nearer satisfaction ; seizing, 
as it were, on the untangible ; drawn away 
from earth while yearning but the more to it. 
What is it ? We feel spirited. That some be- 
ing, that we will never have the power to realize, 
call it what we will, is around us ; that it has 
stepped forth and filled the void. It seems as 
if our own inward being goes forth and would 



8 4 



NATURES REALM. 



yield to the communion. But no; it is not 
possible. A revulsion occurs ; our head sinks 
into our hands again ; our hands fall down. 
What a flood of burning light is in our eyes, 
screened sun-glow ! The whole living soul 
seems to die out of its home ; all is dazed — 
dead. No ! Hush ! is that the voice that was 
sought ? Through the dazed sense it comes so 
softly, purely sweet, from there on high — 
sacred height — a trembling, muffled, throttled 
warble, fluttering through the welkin, so sud- 
denly, sadly sweet. Surely it is from some 
heart-broke voice. Was it watching the sorrow 
of some one below on earth and greeting out 
its sympathy ? Ah ! thou sweetest warbler of 
the bright summer sky time ; thou hast brought 
us back to ourselves again. We raise our face 
to the blinding blood and gold of the high sun 
sheen, blinded in a sheet of red and gold. Yes; 
involuntarily we stretch out our head and 
hands. We hang on the notes, gladly en- 
thralled. We can count the song's periods. It 
must, in spite of any potent wish — it has to 
cease. There ; there now, for it has reached 
its pyre. What a spell — a sort of terror seizing 
you ! It has blankly stopped after we have 
watched its fluttering, high ascension. The 
summer sun lark falls dead-like, with one soft, 
willy-willy wail, to its groundling nest. And 
what terrible thing is next to happen ? The 
lark sank sudden with that one weary, weird 
wail. We would, too, die away into a welcome 
oblivion, but we are as transfixed. The lost 
notes still seem to come, still caught, and ring- 
ing in the ear more mellow from the expired 
distance. So do reminiscences play tricks with 
us. With what a sudden, short shock — pang — 
does even that die away too ! 

Spell-bound still. What a feeling and what 
a power to be enthralled by a sense lighter 
than air, yet how much more binding. Isn't 
presentiment but fulfilling ? There is a quick- 
ening of the pulse and of the spell, for we now 
suddenly start and instantaneously realize what 
it is, though no sound or sight has yet im- 
pressed our sense. As one can by a memory 
sense reproduce past images or tones, can our 



presentiment instinctively materialize in the eye 
and in the ear that which is caught just on the 
verge of the happening ? Can we get before 
the event ? Such seemed to be the case now. 
Oh ! that it would now in actuality quickly 
break this horrible, grinding, grating sp<=.ll, 
that makes us now to shiver and shudder- 
Ha ! there it comes, and we stick our fingers 
in our ears to dull the crazing edge of it. 

How it shivers into us ! Listen, if you can. 
'Tis a creak, creak, cracking knell, a chirp, 
chirp, chirping knell, knell, knell. Oh ! harsh- 
est, rusty bar of rusty, creaking bell. Oh ! 
thou, too, rheumatic belfry bell. Knell, knell, 
knell. So it continues to its crusty, clanging, 
creaking chirrup. And we are so close to it. 
But, as we rise, we see no one ; just hear that 
eternal, rasping knell. Is it determined to 
condemn us to an eternal horror ? All we see 
is the rusty iron, whipping, lashing to and fro 
against the unseen ga'le. Whip, creak, clang 
and knell. Will it never cease ? Knell, knell, 
knell. Now at last we have caught up with 
the number of the strokes. Four, five, six ; 
knell, knell, knell. We stand aching as we 
listen, thoroughly aroused, awakened, and now 
solemnly conscious of the about to happen ; 
aroused at last out ot the mysterious life dream 
to the sense of the more mysterious death 
dream being slept by one now being borne 
toward the last resting place. And yet the 
flesh creeps, and that to the rusty, creaking 
antagonism of the death-celling and age-record- 
ing bell. Knell, knell, knell. We count on 
to nineteen, twen — no ! no more. It stops 
there, but there is yet the dying 'ell, 'ell, 'ell. 
It dies away slowly in circles of sound like the 
little mourning warbler's — sad sounds of sym- 
pathy. And still the dying sounds rise like 
billows and fall, and calm down to at last im- 
perceptible ripples, that live and linger only in 
the sensitive, retentive ear. The irony and the 
force of that bell ! It has once more told life's 
story, and tolled the last sad echo. It is clay 
to mould ; yet so young, and in this glorious, 
glinting summer day ! So life is told. 



THE SEVENTEE 

n, w 

The CicadA—St/teuttecim, Linnzs 

This is an insect which has— in Pennsylvania 
at least— obtained the general appellation of 
locust. U presents a life of evolution, begin- 
ning in the earth, ascending to the tree, and 
returning its life to the roots again, to await its 
allotted time to reappear. 

In the village of Jenkintown, near Philadel- 
phia, Pa., in the early partot April, 1885, while 
skimming off a few inches of dirt from a car- 
riage drive, I uncovered holes honey-combed 
in the earth, half an inch in diameter and per- 
fectly symmetrical. They were mostly under 
old trees, where they had approached very 
near the surface. We uncovered the chrysalis 
about six inches below the surface, and awaited 
the proper time and condition ot weather for 
them to come out. In the latter part of April 
they made their appearanee. If rainy or 
muddy weather intervenes they cement the 
mouths of their holes with mud, to keep out the 
water until favorable weather. 

They encountered many difficulties, coming 
up under stones and brick pavements, making 
their way out often through the cracks. I have 
a piece of iron plate, many times the weight ot 
a locust, "lilted up and propped by mud at an 
angle to let the insect out. The majority of 
holes were under trees or where trees had 
been. 

Naturalists say they come out only in the 
night. For almost two weeks I watched them 
nightly, and they made their appearance an 
hour before tunclown, increasing in numbers 
until dark. Crawling by thousands through 
the grass and over the bare ground in their 
brown casing, which they are about to throw 
off, they are often covered with mud. Ascend- 
ing weeds, posts, fences and frame work in 
droves, and particularly trees, they fix them- 
selves to the bark and on the leaves. At this 
time they encounter many enemies, as chick- 
ens, hogs, squirrels and birds are very fond of 
them. Our cat was seen every evening watch- 
ing in the grass, seeming to relish them as a 
-dainty. As grubs (fig. 1) they have a cylin- 



N-YLAR LOCUST. 
M. Kohl. 

. Tettryonia srptrudeciiit, Fabricious. 

drical proboscis; anterior coxa-, thick and 
strong, toothed beneath, fitted for digging; 
abdomen in eight segments ; six feet, and are 
different from the larvae in having the rudi- 
mentary wings. 

One evening I secured seven on one branch, 




F'lG. I . 



and witnessed the operation of their new birth 
by lamp light. They were some time running 
up and down selecting a position. Once fairly 




1 



fixed the back part of the head soon becomes 
smooth and glossy, as if stretched to its utmost 
tension. In five minutes from the time of set- 
tling in position, a longitudinal fissure, showing 



86 



NATURE'S REALM. 



a thread-like white line where the split occurs, 
on the back of the head first, extending finally 
from the first joint, connecting the proboscis or 
forceps to the body joint, half an inch in length. 
In three minutes more the head had pressed its 
way out. Gradually the forelegs were with- 
drawn from their sockets, say in one minute. 
Then the whole body swung slowly backward, 
head down and feet outward, suspended (fig. 2) 
with an occasional tremor, as if trying to extri- 
cate the hind part and legs. When it had 
hung for three minutes it then very slowly, like 
an acrobat, brought its body up to the original 
position, withdrew the hind legs and body, and 
in two minutes more stood outside the puba 
skin in full form, an inch long, of a white, waxy 



sembling the pronunciation of Pharoah. The- 
organs of music are internal, placed at the 
base of the abdomen beneath and covered by 
two large plates, as seen in fig. 5. The sound 
issues out of the two holes beneath these plates. 
To the inside of these kettle drums are fastened 
cords that voluntarily contract and expand with 
great rapidity. 

Naturalists have spoken of locusts as doing 
great damage by eating up all green and ten- 
der plants. This cannot be the seventeen-year 
locust, though so stated in '* Animal and Insect 
Biography" and other works. Nothing of the 
kind came under my notice in a very caretul 
study of their habits during their visits in 1834, 
'51, '68 and '85. They appear at different times- 





Fig. 3. 

appearance, with red eyes like rubies. The 
wings showed only as a mass ofcramped-up 
white film. In a minute the wings had grown 
to three-quarters of an inch, by measurement ; 
in three minutes to one inch, and in six and a 
half minutes to the full size of one and a quarter 
inches in length and half an inch in breadth. 
In twenty-two minutes the whole process was 
accomplished. 

The next morning I found them scattered 
around the room, on the windows, ceiling and 
tops of the doors, and their body was dark, 
finely variegated, transparent wings, and the 
letter W well defined in the veins of the wings. 
The rings of the body were edged with dull 
orange, and legs same color. 

After the locust has attained its perfect state 
(figs. 3 and 4 showing it in flight and repose) 
they spread out into orchards and forest trees, 
making the woods resound with a sound re- 



FlG. 4. 

in different sections. In 1834 I was quite 
young, bu* my memory became quickened by 
having a little garden, about eight feet square 
of space, assigned me by my uncle in one cor- 
ner of the big one, and I was astonished to find 
the largest part of my crop that came up was 
locusts, completely riddling the ground. That 
year the grain was borne to the e*rth by them. 
I did see, however, in one year in Kansas, the 
fields, gardens, corn, and even large-sized 
nursery trees, stripped of the bark clean to the 
white wood, every vestige of green gone, and 
the ground entirely bare. This was done by 
the Rocky Mountain locust, shaped like a 
grasshopper. We could not walk in the halls 
and rooms of hotels without crushing them 
under foot. When in flight about a mile high 
they were so thick as to darken the sun, their 
wings glistening with silver reflections. 

The female locust is called bv the male with? 



NATURE'S REALM. 



?7 



a chirping noise. Soon after pairing, about 
the end of May, they begin to lay their eggs, 
an operation I watched the female perform. 
-She selects the tender twigs of trees like the 
chestnut, about a foot from the end (fig. 6). 
Taking firm hold of the twig, she thrusts out a 
black dart from the tail. This dart is an ap- 
paratus provided in the female for slitting the 



straight layers along the same branch. The 
slots are from half to an inch long, in each of 
which they deposit from four to ten eggs. It 
is said one female will deposit from 400 to 700 
eggs, going from one branch to another. Soon 
after depositing their eggs they die and fall to 






Fig. 5. 

branches and depositing her eggs, and consists 
of several pieces fitted together (fig. 7). The 
dart proper is composed of two pieces (fig. 8) 
placed right and left, spear-shaped, and work- 
ing something like a saw. The side pieces 
(fig. 7) convey the eggs to the nest. This dart 
is thrust out about half an inch, and pierces 
the limb obliquely in the direction of the fibre to 






Fig. 8. 



the ground. In riding along Edge Hill road, 
through a forest of chestnut, I found them so 
numerous as to be constantly flying against us, 
the dead lying thick upon the ground. 

The ends of the branches from the place of 
depositing the eggs die, break and hang down, 
in some cases covering the outer surface of the 
trees with dead branches and leaves, in singu- 







the pith of the branch (that the larvae may live 
upon it when in its tender state), splintering the 
wood in small fibres: Slitting the bark a 
quarter of an inch forward, the dart again 
pierces deep, and so continues in four places 
(fig. 6), each time plowing back and conveying 
the eggs to their place by means of the grooved 
side pieces of the piercer. The eggs lay in 



lar contrast with the inner green foliage. T» 

\V. Harris says : 

"They severed the branch below the eggs, 

so that the wind would twist oft" the extreme 

part containing the eggs and let it fall to the 

ground." 

Also Westwood in his works remarks : 

" They make choice of dead dried branches. 



88 



NATURES REALM. 



being apparently aware that moisture would 
injure her progeny." 

Both writers have certainly erred, at least so 
far as this locality is concerned, and I fear they 
write, like many do, without personal observa- 
tion, for I find the branches die from the sting, 
and, developing at the proper time, the young 
drop to the ground. 



they drop to the ground, in appearance, shape 
and color of the parents when first coming to 
the air, and burrow their way down from two 
to twelve feet, living upon the roots of trees 
and weeds until their allotted time to arise lrom 
the ground. 

When young, halt a century ago, I did not 
hesitate to catch them in my hands, and never 




Fig. 9. 



About two weeks after the eggs had been de- 
posited I cut off some branches and found, after 
laying them open (Fig. 9), the larvae in layers 
of eight to fifteen each, one-twelfth of an inch 
in length and one-sixteenth in diameter, lap- 
ping over each other something like a length 
of bricks stood on end and toppled. They were 
pearly white and the shape of a cigar. Soon 



heard of any one being stung. Strange to say, 
of late years everybody is afraid, there being 
well attested cases resulting fatally. May not 
these results arise from the female, which at 
the moment of striking deposits her eggs in the 
human flesh. I have, I believe, a sure cure, 
which I have practically tried, and will give it 
in a separate article. 



THK INVISIBLE WORLD. 



By V A POCCHET, M I) . A ihok Of "The I'm 



Our imagination, says Bonnet, one of the 
most zealous expounders of natural history, is 
equally confounded by what is infinitely great 
or infinitely small. 

In fact, the phenomena of creation astound 
us, whether, uplifting our look, we scrutinize 
the mechanism of the heavens, or cast our eyes 
upon the tiniest creatures of this lower realm. 

Immensity is everywhere. It stands revealed 
in the azure dome of heaven, where glows a 
perfect dust of stars, and in the living atom 
which hides from us the marvels of its organi- 
zation. 

"Whoever," says an illustrious author, 
"contemplates this spectacle with the eye of 
imagination, feels the littleness of man com- 
pared to the greatness of the universe." But 
although it is true that in presence of the im- 
mensity of space and the eternal duration of 
time a feeling of humility subjugates us ; al- 
though each step that man takes in his path, 
and every wrinkle that furrows his brow, reveal 
his utter feebleness ; yet his genius, that divine 
emanation, supports him on his journey by 
showing him both his power and his lofty ori- 
gin. 

When, at the very outset of our studies, we 
cast a glance upon creation, we are astonished 
at its vastness, and we see that none of our fic- 
tions attains the sublimity of its proportions. 

For instance, the Chinese accounts of crea- 
tion represent the first organizer of chaos under 
the form of a feeble old man, enervated and 
tottering, called Pan-Kou-Che', surrounded by 
confused masses of rock, and holding a chisel 
in one hand and a hammer in the other. He 
toils painfully at his work, and, covered with 
perspiration, carves out the crust of the globe, 
at the same time that he clears a path through 
a wilderness of rocky masses. 

One shudders at the relative feebleness of 
the workman to the immensity of the task. 
Well nigh lost amidst enormous masses of 
shattered stone, which surround him on every 
side and encumber the picture, he is scarcely 
seen — a real pigmy executing a herculean task. 
On the other hand, the people of the North, 
looking upon their land so often devastated by 
floods, thought that some god in his terrible 



anger had broken up the surface of it, and 
gathered the debris into heaps. To the chil- 
dren of Scandinavia this diety was not a palsied 
and infirm old man ; they required a divinity 
endowed with their own savage energy. In 
their eyes it was the god of tempests ; the re- 
doubtable and gigantic Thor, who, armed with 
a blacksmith's hammer, and suspended over 
the abyss, with mighty blows broke up the 
crust of the earth, and fashioned the rocks and 
mountains with splinters. Here we see already 
an advance upon the feeble old Pan-Kou-Che ; 
manly vigor is substituted for the impotence of 
old age. It is a reminiscence of the ancient 
epic poesy. Thor shows like a revolted giant, 
raging and shattering everything that falls 
within his reach. 

But to us, accustomed to bow before an all- 
powerful Creator, such images appear very 
puerile. Instead of these old men and giants 
laboriously occupied in hammering out the 
globe, we only trace everywhere the invisible 
hand of God. In one place, with a delicacy 
which passes all conception, it animates the 
insect with the breath of life ; in another, ex- 
panding itself to vast dimensions, it reins the 
worlds scattered through space, convulses or 
annihilates them. It is at such times that, in 
the midst of its throes, our globe cleaves its 
mountains and opens up its abysses ; and upon 
each of its gigantic ruins, as upon each grain 
of sand, the philosopher finds written a grand 
page of natural theology. 

In fact, every crumbling peak displays to our 
view the remains of generations buried by the 
revolutions of the globe. Their numbers, their 
size, their unknown forms astonish us ; but we 
cannot doubt, for these inanimate remains, of 
which the earth has faithfully kept the impress, 
are so many medallions struck by the Creator 
and spared by the hand of time, to reveal to "us 
the world's eventful history. 

If we review the living forces of our planet, 
we soon perceive that their power is boundless. 
When they are unleashed within its bowels, 
the whole face of the earth is shaken. At one 
time they raise up the Alps and Himalayas, 
their summits towering into the region of the 
clouds. At another, almost cleaving the globe 



9° 



NA TURKS REALM. 



from pole to pole, the Ancles and America rise 
from the bosom of the sea ; then the startled 
waves, tumultuously pouring over the ancient 
world, produce one of the more recent catas- 
trophes, the great deluge. Thus the supreme 
Power decreed ! 

When, after having viewed the imposing 



imitate the ancient pantheism, which distrib- 
uted portions of the divinity to every molecule 
of created matter ; she equally reveals herself 
everywhere : armed with the microscope the 
eye discovers her traces in every interstice of 
matter. 
Fontenelle was wont to censure the ancient 




Pan-Kou-Che, the Creator. — From a Pawting in a Chinese Manuscript. 



phenomena which are taking place on the sur- 
face of the earth, we look down upon its tiniest 
inhabitants, we see revealed, in unexpected 
magnificence, all the wisdom of Providence ; 
ere long the spectacle of immensity in what is 
infinitely little, astonishes us no less than the 
immeasurable power displayed in the grand 
scenes of creation. Animated nature seems to 



verbose scholasticism, which he rightly called 
the philosophy of words. The learned secre- 
tary of the academy wanted to see the intellect 
occupied solely with facts — with the philosophy 
of things. We are about to prove ourselves 
followers of his precepts by restricting ourselves 
to the results of observation. 

Nothing gives a more brilliant idea of the 



NATURE'S REALM. 



9' 



universal diffusion of life throughout space, 
than the prodigious number of organisms which 
we meet everywhere and in all bodies. The 
demonstration of this fact is one of the most 
recent and magnificent conquests achieved by 
science. 

We owe it to the microscope, discovered 



When we read the works ol naturalists, and 
see them penetrating so deeply into the most 
hidden secrets of the anatomy and manners of 
beings, the mere existence of which the eye 
could not lead us to suspect, we are apt to ask 
if the pride of genius has not usurped the place 
due to the simple realities of nature ; and 




TliOR, THE N'EI'HNE AND CREATOR OF THE SCANDINAVIANS, RECONSTRUCTING THH <" 



about a century and a half ago. This instru- 
ment at once displayed to men objects so new, 
striking, and unexpected, that it was every- 
where admitted to have opened up a new 
world, by conferring, as it were, upon us an 
additional sense wherewith to investigate the 
invisible. 



hence, for a long time, the statements of mi- 
croscopists were, by some obstructive minds, 
rated as fables. But when we see their instru- 
ments, constructed with such great precision, 
we at once conclude that, however marvellous 
their investigations appear, still they did not 
deceive themselves. 



OLD-TIME HUNTERS AND TRAPPERS. 



By Samuel 

Aside from the Indians tew characters have 
figured more conspicuously in the drama of 
the new world than the old-time class of hunt- 
ers and trappers, at the head of which stood 
Kit Carson and Daniel Boone. An interest 
thrilling and extraordinary attached to these 
hardy rovers of the wilderness, whose nightly 
couch was the bosom of Mother Earth, and 
about whose picturesque and smoke-tanned 
costumes there clung the permeating odor of 
pine and cedar boughs. 

From the serene mountain solitudes of the 
far Northwest, where Nature has dipped her 
pencil in the rainbow and transferred its gor- 
geous dyes to the walls of the grand canon of 
the Yellowstone, and along the banks of every 
river that traverses the vast rolling plains be- 
yond the Missouri to the rivers of the ancient 
Montezumas in Mexico, the smoke of their 
camprires has curled upward through the crisp 
desert air unseen of human eyes, save those 
of the painted Indians, by whom these fearless 
adventurers were regarded as invaders of the 
red men's possessions, and who were ever 
eager to adorn their lodge poles with trappers' 
scalps. 

The glamor of romance which imaginative 
literature has thrown about the eventful lives 
of the hunters and trappers of olden times, is 
perhaps no more extravagant than the actual 
experiences which they encountered amid the 
solitudes of the untamed wilderness. What 
boy has perused the thrilling adventures and 
hair-breadth escapes of the hunters and trap- 
pers in the palmy days of the* Northwestern 
and Hudson's Bay fur companies without a 
feeling of the most unbounded enthusiasm, 
along with a corresponding tinge of regret that 
he was born too late to cast his lot with those 
long-haired and buckskin-clad adventurers, to 
whom the perils incident to their wild vocation 
were more congenial than the tamer pursuits 
of civilization ? However this may be, it is cer- 
tain that the secret charm of the romantic de- 
lineations of hunting and trapping episodes 
consists largely in the picturesque and scenic 



Pakkek. 

grandeur of the localities wherein the same 
are laid, and it is likewise true that nothing 
could appeal so powerfully to the imagination 
of a susceptible boy and gradually inspire him 
with an ardent love of the beautiful in nature 
as the stories of the old-time fur hunters. It 
matters little whether the storied exploits ot 
Antelope Tom or Beaver Pete be depicted on 
the canvas of fact or fancy, the background ot 
the picture is usually a rushing, pine-belted 
river, an imposing forest or a range of cedared 
mountains with their hoary summits sleeping 
among the clouds. Nor is the boy alone in 
his admiration of the allurements of a primitive 
life such as characterized the hunters and trap- 
pers of early days. Men of wealth and cul- 
ture, who have been reared amid the luxuries 
and comforts of a pampered civilization, and 
who, in response to the nomadic impulses ot 
their natures, have betaken themselves for a 
brief season of camp life to the mountains and 
prairies of the far West, have returned regret- 
fully to dream of crags and eagles, tumbling 
waters and wind-stirred pines. 

Perhaps, however, the most remarkable in- 
stance in support of the singular fascination of 
the life of a mountain trapper, barring, of 
course, the nationality of the individual, is that 
of the educated Indian trapper of which men- 
tion is made in a history of " The Great West " 
published some forty years ago. This Indian, 
according to the account of a traveler, by whom 
he was discovered in the region of the Rocky 
Mountains, was a graduate of Dartmouth Col- 
lege, New Hampshire, a profound and elegant 
scholar and a critic on English and Roman lit- 
erature, but who for seventeen years had been 
pursuing the avocation of a trapper. His reply 
to the gentleman's query as to why a man of 
his scholastic attainments had chosen to cast 
his lot in the wilderness, while strictly charac- 
teristic of an Indian, was likewise tinged with 
the enthusiasm engendered by his long famil- 
iarity with the wild sublimities of nature. 

"Red men," he remarked, "often acquire 
and love the sciences, but with the nature the 



MATURES REALM. 



93 



Great Spirit has given them what are all their 
truths to them ? Would an Indian ever meas- 
ure the height of a mountain that he could 
cljmb ? No, never ! The legends of his tribe 
tell him nothing about quadrants and base- 
lines and angles. Their old braves, however, 
have for ages watched fronr. the cliffs the green 
life in the spring and the yellow death in the 
autumn of their holy forests. Why should he 
ever calculate an eclipse ? He always knew 
such occurrences to be the doings of the Great 
Spirit. Science, it is true, can tell the times 
and seasons of their coming, but the Indian, 
when they do occur, looks through Nature 
without the aid of science, up to its cause. Ot 
what use is a Lunar to him ? His swift canoe 
has the green-embowered shores and well- 
known headlands to guide his course. In fine, 
what are the arts of peace, of war, of agricul- 
ture, or anything civilized, to him ? His na- 
ture and its elements, like the pine which 
shadows his wigwam, are too mighty, too 
grand, of too strong a fibre, to form a stock on 
which to ingraft the rose and the violet of pol- 
ished life. No ! I must range the hills ; I 
must always be able to out-travel my horse ; I 
must always be able to strip my own wardrobe 
from the backs of the deer and buffalo, and to 
feed upon their rich loins ; I must always be 
able to punish my enemy with my own hand, 
or I am no longer an Indian. And if I am 
anything else I am a mere imitation, an ape.*' 

The first trappers to penetrate the great 
hunting grounds beyond the Missouri River 
were the French, and the ease with which they 
conformed to Indian customs tended in no 
small degree to mitigate the perils and priva- 
tions of the wilderness. Scarcely a region that 
is breathed upon by the western winds but 
what has been visited by these adventure- 
loving characters, and a great proportion of 
the mountains, lakes and rivers still retain the 
pleasing and poetic names bestowed upon them 
in their rude geography. 

Along with a variety of rough accomplish- 
ments, such as the skillful propelling of a frail 
birch bark canoe over the treacherous raDids 
of some rock-vexed river, the unerring direct- 
ness of their course on their overland journeys, 
and their expertness in outwitting and captur- 



ing the sagacious beaver in its haunts, these 
nomadic dandies of the wilderness were gifted 
with a proficiency in the art of love making 
sufficiently remarkable to have excited the envy 
ol the most successful cavaliers that ever 
thrummed a guitar in the gardens of Andalu- 
sia ; and many a dusky, passionate-eyed mai- 
den of the forest, charmed by the polite and 
winning blandishments of the roaming trap- 
pers, or dazzled by the glittering display ot 
beads, colored cloths and other Indian finery 
in the canoes of the picturesque "Coreurs des 
Bois," have given their hands and hearts in 
marriage to their bold and volatile admirers. 
A liberal sprinkling of descendents, the result 
of these intermarriages, may be found among 
the various tribes of western Indians, particu- 
larly the Sioux. The half-breeds are charac- 
terized by a gay and careless disposition, with 
a fondness for boisterous amusements, dancing 
and horse racing, the proverbial stoicism ot 
their Indian ancestors being conspicuously ab- 
sent. The early Government exploring parties 
usually employed the Erench voyageurs and 
trappers as guides, scouts and interpreters, 
their knowledge of the country and their flu- 
ency in both the English and Indian tongues 
rendering their services indispensable. 

A prominent specimen of this class is Basil 
Clement, an old ex-guide, scout and inter- 
preter, hunter and trapper, at present residing 
in an old-fashioned double log cabin on the up- 
per Missouri River in Dakota. Clement's wife 
is a half-breed Sioux, a descendent from the 
famous Lewis & Clarke expedition, which years 
ago explored the country in the vicinity of the 
Yellowstone. The knowledge of the geograph- 
ical features of the interior wilderness beyond 
the Missouri which old Basil possesses amounts 
to an instinct, and has ever placed him in the 
foremost rank as a guide and scout in military 
expeditions. 

One night in tbe winter of '81 Clement was 
one of a party of passengers returning on the 
stage from Headwood to Fort Pierri. The 
conversation chancing to turn on Clement's 
great reputation as a guide, the passengers, 
simply through an idle curiosity, decided to 
put him to the test. Accordingly during the 
night, whenever a halt was made at the differ- 



■9 V 



NATURE'S REALM. 



ent watering places, etc., along the route, some 
passenger would call out: " Where are we 
now, Basil ? " And Basil, who, by the way, 
had been enjoying a rather extensive bout with 
Bacchus while in Deadwood, was dozing in the 
corner of the stage, would start suddenly up, 
pull aside the leather curtain, and, thrusting 
•out his head, take a sweeping glance at the 
dark landscape without and name the locality 
forthwith. And the driver, whose confidence 
in Clement's ability was unlimited, would tri- 
umphantly respond: "You're mighty right, 
Basil ; that's jest whar we be." 

Although well-to-do in the world, being the 
owner of fine pony herds and also consider- 
ably advanced in years, yet with each succeed- 
ing autumn Ciement rarely fails to load a pack 
animal with blankets and traps and mounting 
his favorite riding pony depart lor a few weeks' 
trapping amid the haunts frequented so often 
in his younger days, returning usually with a 
fine pack of furs and a fresh budget of advent- 
ures. Clement is the very essence of the hos- 
pitality so characteristic of the frontier, and 
the wayfarer who may chance to pass a night 
in his tidy, well-kept cabin will be entertained 
with a bundle of truthful and exciting reminis- 
cences, delivered with a series of vehement 
gesticulations and a rattling volubility that is 
simply amazing. After a healthy pull at the 
wayfarer's flask of the antidote for the bites of 
rattlers, old Basil will proceed to regale him 
with an account of the time that he was chased 
by gray wolves on the Powder River, and of a 
-certain night on the Belle Fourche when a 
prowling wildcat attempted to appropriate a 
fine parcel of beaver tails which were being 
held in reserve for soup, and how his own 
attempt to pulverize the midnight marauder 
with a club resulted in his buckskin pantaloons 
being reduced to shoe strings. The interest 
of these recitals is greatly heightened by the 
variety ot gymnastic evolutions in which old 
Basil invariably indulges during their rehearsal. 
Chairs and other portable objects within the 
cabin are converted for the time being into 



imaginary wolves and wildcats, and are ac- 
cordingly subjected to the same quota of violent 
kicks and cuffs combined with a shower of 
maledictions identical to those administered to 
his genuine adversaries. 

In respect to the sagacity of wild animals 
whose habits he has had abundant opportunities 
to observe, Clement yields the palm to the 
beaver, the instinctive cunning of which he 
strenuously insists falls little short of human 
intelligence. Sometimes, he declares, a mis- 
chief-loving beaver will, during the night, spring 
a trap with a stick apparently for the mere 
purpose of tantalizing its would-be captor. 

Basil's admiration for the sagacity of the 
beaver, however, is exceeded only by his pro- 
found contempt for the sneaking coyote. Any 
brute, he maintains, that can make a comlort- 
able lunch off a saddle-flap or a rawhide lariat 
is unworthy of the ammunition required to 
destroy it. 

Although Basil makes no claim to ever 
having attacked a grizzly bear single-handed, 
yet in camping with the Sioux he has frequently 
assisted in dispatching these formidable terrors. 
Moreover, he corroborates the statement that 
the Indians during a protracted encounter with 
a grizzly and while taking an occasional 
breathing spell when the final issue of the 
struggle is already decided in their favor, will 
address the bear as if it were a rational crea- 
ture, upbraiding it for its temerity and lack ot 
judgment in daring to stand fight against foes 
so superior to him in power ; knowing as he 
must, that the result could be nothing but his 
certain defeat. 

Clement's home is located near the mouth ol 
the Cheyenne, the favorite river of the Sioux 
and to which they have given the name 01 
Wak-paush-te, or good river. With his beaver 
cap, his fringed leggings and moccasins which 
comprise his usual costume in winter, he pre- 
sents the appearance of a typical specimen of 
the old-time class of hunters and trappers who 
have long since preceded him to the Happy 
Hunting Grounds of Eternity. 



THE OLD LIVE OAK TREE— THE UGLY BROWN STONE 

I!-. 



Alone in the midst of the flower-starred mesa 
stood an old live oak tree. All around the 
flowers whispered to each other of his gran- 
deur ; the little birds carolled their tiny songs 
and built their fairy homes among his leaves ; 
his lullaby was softly sung by the hermit thrush 
and by the wind gently sighing through his 
branches ; his reveille was sounded by the 
ceaseless beating of the Pacific Ocean and by 
the clarion whistle of the quail. Soft-eyed 
cattle stood beneath his grateful shade, and 
men came from far around to gaze at his fair 
proportions and to add to his homage. The 
old live oak tree was very happy, but a little 
vain withal. 

Soon the poppies, nodding their gorgeous 
heads, whispered to each other, and the birds 
ceased their busy search for food long enough 
to wonder at the new ornaments their old 
friend was acquiring, for from each of the 
lower branches hung long trailing veils of 
Spanish moss. They twined themselves around 
his mighty limbs and sung him songs of the 
Alhambra, and of the vine, and of the far-off, 
twinkling stars. They told him stories of the 
dewy-eyed senoritas of the South and the fair 
warriors of the North in their white-winged 
ships. The old tree was secretly delighted and 
encouraged the newcomers, tor their graceful 
lines were becoming, and added greatly to his 
beauty, and their flattering tongues were sweet 
to his ears. 

Little by little the moss embraced more and 
more of the arms of the giant, until from every 
twig long pendants hung. Never had the old 
tree looked so well ; the light green moss 
swayed with every breeze, while his own dark 
green toliage rustled its approval. The sun 
shone as brightly as before, the flowers whis- 
pered still, men admired, but the old tree felt a 
growing discontent, for the birds had ceased 
building their homes with him, the herds had 
deserted him, and a strange stiffness spread 
throughout his frame. Often he wished to lave 
his fevered limbs in the brook so near, but 
when, as of old, he bowed down his great head, 
the waters sprang back. The wind, seeking to 
comfort him, sung a lullaby as of yore, rustling 
through his leaves, but only succeeded in 



EL White. 

shaking them to the ground. Little by little 
the old tree failed, until before long he stood a 
gnarled and twisted skeleton in the brown 
meadow, though blasted, not at rest, while the 
long Spanish mosses chuckled fiendishly with 
every breath as they sucked the last vitality 
from the trusting live oak tree. 

In the deep canon, far in the recesses of an 
overhanging rock, dwelt the ugly stone. The 
little brook running swiftly below her laughed 
as it leaped over the rocks, for it was a hand- 
some little brook, and the sunbeams kissed its 
dancing wavelets and the nedding flowers 
drooped their heads upon its bosom. The 
flowers, too, were happy, for all who passed 
exclaimed at their beauty and gathered great 
handfuls of them. The glittering mica and 
pyrites were happy, for their sparkling colors 
attracted attention and the leaves and birds 
loved to view them. All were happy and con- 
tented but the little ugly stone ; none spoke of 
her, none admired her, none were kind to her, 
except the waving ferns and the gentle south 
wind, for her form was displeasing to the view 
and none could see the beauty of her soul. 
Only the wind whispered gently to her in the 
starry night, when all things were asleep — 
whispered of the waving palms and of the 
placid, flowing rivers, of the cities and forests. 
Only the ferns sang low songs of the stars and 
rains, of the brooks and hills. But still the 
little stone was discontented and longed with a 
mighty longing for beauty and adulation. 

Ages came and went, the years rolled on, 
and still the ugly stone remained as before, but 
her old-time companions had all disappeared. 
The brook had gone, the flowers had long since 
faded away ; nought remained but the gentle 
south wind. One day the little stone felt her- 
self seized and lifted out of her life-long home ; 
a man, bearded and brown, looked long and 
piercingly at her. A blow from his hammer 
and the poor little stone crumbled into atoms, 
leaving in his hand a single crystal drop flash- 
ing with many colors. Then the south wind 
laughed softly to himself as he sped away over 
mountain and field. "Generations of books 
may rise and sink, but the true worth in the 
ugly stone remained eternal." 



THE BIRDS VICTORIOUS. 

[An Incident of Field Sport] 
By M. 1). M. Toland. 

A sportsman once, in search of game, 

While beating through marsh tangle-wood 
Upon a mother partridge came 

Surrounded by her callow brood, 
All fluttering helplessly. 
By true maternal instinct taught, 

She strove her little ones to hide, 
Then bravely the intruders fought — 

With flushing pinions spreading wide 
She stood defiantly. 

In stilted rage she forward came 

With open beak and ruffled crest ; 
Her mate meanwhile, with cunning aim, 

The spoiler and his dogs to breast 
And lead them all astray — 
Intoned quick measured melody 

Of cooing-silvery cadence clear, 
While flitting through the shrubbery, 

Thus to attract the hunter's ear 
His threatening hand to stay. 

Transfixed in admiration mute, 

The sportsman watched the tiny pair ; 
Nor wished he such brave birds to shoot, 

But let them trill in triumph there 
Their notes of victory. 
His setters fenced in covert drear, 

Intent in crouching attitude, 
He called, and they, snbdued, drew near 

With whimpering whine and sullen mood 
To cross the fern-hedged lea. 

God, who hath taught the birds in spring 

To frame and build their downy nest, 
To shield their young 'neath hovering wing, 

Implanted in each parent breast 
Some portion of his love. 
Nor leaves them void of heavenly light 

Wherewith to guide their simple life, 
But aids them on their upward flight 

Through changing scenes of peace and strife, 
His watchful care to prove. 



DULCET DAYS IN THE HAMPSHIRE HILLS. 

By Charles Hallock. 



Were there ever days more charming, sum- 
mer haunts more satisfying, skies so bright, 
sun more genial, atmosphere so pure ? Did 
mountain brooklets ever run more clear or 
hardwood forests wave their fronds more win- 
somely ? Was ringing call of bluejay ever so 
resonant in the glen ? And where did mother 
partridge ever brood her fledglings in glades 
so undisturbed ? 

For season after season it has been my 
blessed privilege to see the vernal buds unfold 
and the autumns ripen in these restful Hamp- 
shire Hills ; and I have watched each change- 
ful growth develop onward toward maturity 
with an interest that fell little short of Druid 
worship — deriving such a sense of abiding 
comfort as no other spot on earth bestows on 
me. Perhaps it is because my grandparents 
lie in the Plainfield churchyard, where I have 
watched for more than half a century the twin 
hemlocks, which stand sentinels over them, 
steadfastly fulfil their jealous trust and gradu- 
ally extend their protecting limbs ; or perhaps 
it is because my childhood's associations inten- 
sify with lapsing years and advancing age. 
No matter. In the spring time all the blue- 
birds and thrushes j®in in carolling forth the 
praises of these, their native haunts ; the peep- 
frogs in the meadow chirp in unison ; the bees 
take grateful wing o'er new-found flowers, and 
the skunk cabbage and fiddle-head brakes 
spring forth into luxuriant sweep of foliage. It 
is charming ! All through the joyous summer 
months the landscape glows with vigorous life, 
and in autumn the big, round, yellow, harvest 
moon attests the fulfillment of every golden 
promise. 

It is then I love to sniff the pungent aroma ot 
incipient decay — the fermentation which pre- 
cedes the inevitable mould and fungus — and I 
feel like lying down in the still woods and let- 
ting the juncos and robins cover me up with 
the crisp and rustling leaves, content and joy- 
ous to the end. I dare say that primitive Eden 
was no better place than this — the Eden which 
our first parents had to be driven from by 



flaming scourge ; and yet in these latter days 
these delectable hills have been voluntarily 
abandoned by their tenants ! Few remain to 
possess and occupy. 

****** 

It is too bad ! 

Follow an old country road in any direction 
among these hills in Northwestern Massachu- 
setts, and you are sure to come eventually to 
some old ruin, a weed-choked cellar hole, or at 
least to a neglected orchard or a tumble-down 
stone wall. On either side the old fields are 
overgrown with thrifty young forests, and you 
will often find pine trees and tamaracks ming- 
ling familiarly with sturdy apple trees of doubt- 
ful fruitage ; and in June and October the at- 
tentive ear will detect the muffled drum beat o 
the partridge, which seems afar off down the 
glen, but is probably within the spruce copse 
close at hand. Yonder at the cross-roads, 
where there is a lusty poplar grove, striplings 
of two generations gone dropped potatoes for 
the hired man to cover, and from the weathered 
stumps which clustered in the clearing gathered 
many a wasp's nest packed full of juicy grubs, 
to be used for bait for trout. Down in that 
tangled ravine stood a busy satinet factory, of 
which scarcely one iron bolt or brace remains. 
It would be a good place to fish for trout now, 
were it not for the brushwood completely 
choking up the stream and covering it out of 
sight. The searching sunbeams do not even 
penetrate to "where the trout hide," but we 
know the stream is there all the same, for we 
can detect its muffled babbling, like the croon- 
ing of an old woman in the chimney corner; 
and perchance, if we listen attentively, we may 
hear a muttered tale of some of the by-gone 
years. Ah ! me. The old orchards which 
were once used for mowings now do niggard 
duty as pastures, while the pastures themselves 
are overgrown with scrubby ferns which con- 
ceal the multitudes of rocks, and are of no use 
at all. Cornfields and garden patches have 
long since grown to jungle, and the birch sap- 
lings and beeches are stoutest where the old 



98 



NATURE'S REALM. 



cellar holes are deepest. Even the purple fire- 
weed which always followed the burnt land ot 
the clearings has totally disappeared, and its 
place is usurped by the dog-wood and poison 
ivy. There has not been a new clearing for 
fifty years ! And the aggravating part of the 
whole business is that a vagabond crow, which 
keeps up a bawling from the top of a neighbor- 
ing rampike, actually presumes to resent our 
intrusion, and wakes up a whole colony of his 
black imps, who join in a lusty guffaw as they 
take wing. It is the unkindest cut of all '. 

It was a hard and unseemly fate which drove 
our fathers from their homes and scattered 
them abroad. Cold-blooded economists tell us 
it was avarice, restlessness and love of gain 
which impelled them ; but we, who have lived 
among these granite hills and love them all so 
well, know the inexorable " cinch " which vicis- 
situdes of trade and change of markets "get" 
on a man. Think you, indulgent reader, upon 
mature reflection, that mere love of novelty and 
lucre would of itself have kept these wandering 
argonauts so long away from the ancestral 
farms, while their infirm old parents lingered, 
and perhaps languished in solitude through a 
prolonged old age ? 

Let us not believe it. 

When the country was first settled the pop- 
ulation was circumscribed and the methods of 
livelihood crude and simple. Isolated little 
communities supplied their own frugal wants. 
Home demands nurtured home industries, but 
the thriftiest were not enriched. There was 
no currency and small use for credit, except in 
kind. Since then locations more suitable for 
agriculture have been discovered and occupied. 
Steam and electricity have supplanted the 
brawling mountain streams which erst were 
utilized for scores of manufactories, just as in 
still earlier times they had afforded the only 
thoroughfares for inland travel. And now it is 
a full generation since the young energies of 
these hill families went out into the West and 
to the metropolitan centres to seek the fortunes 
which never could be won at home. Surely, 
natural instinct must soon drive many of them 
back, after so long an interval, to rehabilitate 
their ancestral domains with their accumulated 
wealth, and so light up the family hearthstones 



once more with life and joy. Why may they 
not return to bless and receive the blessing ? 
A few survivors are still waiting for them. 
Enough of gain is enough. Or would these 
busy toilers consume all their lifetime in the 
effort to be millionaires, and so permit the in- 
firm old people on the homesteads to close each 
other's eyes as best they may, while their 
breath goes out with unsatisfied longings and 
vain regrets ? Why, a dollar in the Hampshire 
hills will go as far as ten in the whirl of fash- 
ion or the business swim — yea, farther than a 
hundred ! And how much true happiness 
might be doubiy earned in restoring the old 
places, painting up the weathered houses, re- 
shingling the barns, embellishing the lawns, 
rejuvenating the pasture-lots and the old fields, 
cutting out the tangle by the roadside, setting 
up the tennis nets, and collecting the waters of 
the errant brooks for trout ponds ! Place the 
old people out on the porch in their easy 
chairs and let them watch the progress of the 
innovation. It would be like the development 
of a new world to them. If the absentees can- 
not come to abide permanently, let them fix 
here their summer homes. Here is present 
choice of pretty houses, now tenantless, for the 
trifling rent of thirty dollars per year ; or you 
can buy the house with plot of ground out- 
right for the paltry sum which the rich man 
lavishes on a livery for his coachman or an af- 
ternoon lunch. Why follow the ignis fatuus 
of caprice and fashion to inhospitable parts, 
where envy and rivalry for precedence and 
love of display are the animating impulses? 
Here is peace and rest. 

Are there any localities in the land more ca- 
pable of embellishment and improvement ? 
The whole region is like a park, with moun- 
tain views and bucolic scenes inimitable. Na- 
ture has fashioned it with rounded lines of 
beauty, and presented it in every conceivable 
form to please the summer sojourner. These 
old hill larms have commanding sites. Very- 
few of them lie in the valleys because there are 
no valleys ! Wherever there is a valley there 
is a ravine and a tumbling stream, with barely 
breadth enough for a wagon road, over which 
the interlacing foliage forms an arch. Were 
ever drives more shady or more rustic ! Xo 



NATURE 1 S REALM. 



99 



railroad within a dozen miles ! Some would 
call them lonesome, but here is where solitude 
is most charming. The only wayfarers are the 
barefooted school children who trip their daily 
two-mile walks as though it were a pastime. 
There are no tramps — no thieves — for there is 
nothing to steal. There are no locks on the 
houses and the barndoors stand wide open. 
The old water troughs where we used to drink 
when children are demolished, and the trick- 
ling spring runs along the middle of the road 
and wears gullies in the sand and gravel. The 
" thank-you-marms " are worn level, and the 
guard rails are out of place, for the towns- 
people don't "work the roads" any more. 
There is not travel enough to justify' the labor 
and expense. As we climb the hills out of the 
valley each foot of altitude expands the view. 
Some of the distant mountain ranges are su- 
perb. Directly below us is the valley panor- 
ama, with the old mill ponds dwindled into 
pools and the face of the brook revealed at in- 
tervals through the hovering alder-bushes. 
Hard by on the " side hill " is a rickety cottage 
and an old man. lie fixes a clear and basilisk 
eye on the wayfarer, but there is no rec- 
ognition, and he turns away as if only a 
blank were before him. Poor old man ! 
He is ninety years old ! Once he was select- 
man, and afterward deacon. In those days it 
was the custom of the country to raise the hat, 
or nod, even when strangers met. It is differ- 
ent now, and he wonders at it. His son's fam- 



ily live in Boston, and so an old woman ot 
seventy does the housekeeping for him. There 
are no other occupants ot the cottage. When 
the church bell tolls next year or the year 
after, the townspeople at the centre will unfasten 
the padlock which secures the rickety hearse- 
house door, and a string of shabby one-horse 
teams and two-seated buggies will follow the 
vehicle to the already populous churchyard. 
The small party of rapidly diminishing surviv- 
ors always attend to this last duty with scru- 
pulous exactness. It is all that they are able to 
do. 

Shades ot our goodly forefathers forbid that 
strangers should possess our heritage ! Here 
in these sacred hills is the last remaining 
nursery of the pure indigenous native type. 
Here are the old houses, the old furniture, the 
old methods and manners; the straight-backed 
chairs, the towering clocks, the mammoth chim- 
ney places, the elaborate carvings, the warming 
pans, the andirons, the candles and the snuf- 
fers. Foreigners have never yet ventured in. 
Even a negro is a living curiosity. Let us 
jealously preserve the few last remaining acres 
of our New England hill country and colonize 
them, not with unsympathetic Scandinavians 
and French-Canadians, but with summer cot- 
tagers who are proud to recognize the kinship 
of the Yankee pioneers who peopled these de- 
lectable though rugged lands. Then, indeed, 
in the near future, will there be Dulcet Days 
for the Hampshire Hills. 



ON THE "GILA MONSTER." 
By Professor S. Garman. 



Late in May, 1889, through the kindness of 
Miss Mary Woodman, the Museum of Com- 
parative Zoology at Cambridge, Mass., came 
into possession of an unusually handsome 
specimen of the "Gila monster," one of the 
largest of the lizards and the only one reputed 
venomous. He had been secured at Casa 
Grande, Arizona, by Mr. Daniel H. Bacon and 
forwarded in such a manner as to reach us lit- 
tle the worse for the handling and the change 
of climate. His arrival in good health and in 
the warm season gave opportunity for taking a 
number of notes that may add something to 
what is already known concerning the species. 
For more than a year he was kept alive and 
under observation. Animals that have been 
brought any distance usually arrive very 
thirsty, and the first move toward domesticat- 
ing them is made in giving them water. Hel- 
oderma was no exception. In an arid dwelling 
place such as his, four or five days, the length 
of the journey, would not be expected to prove 
a very long time between drinks, but he drank 
as if nearly famished. A stupid and impassive 
appearance did not prevent such manifestation 
of intense enjoyment as made it a pleasure to 
watch the slow process of satisfying what, for 
the time, was the greatest desire of the crea- 
ture's existence. More than half an hour 
elapsed from the time the snout was brought 
down to the liquid and the tongue thrust into it 
until the head was raised and, licking the lips 
and yawning to disclose the inky blackness in- 
side the mouth, preparations were begun on a 
sleeping place. Shortly afterward an egg was 
broken into a dish and placed within reach ; it 
was taken with evident relish, in the same 
manner as the water ; the chin was dipped into 
it and the tongue thrust out, bent downward 
and drawn back again. The tongue is thick 
and riband-shaped, i. c, long, narrow and 
somewhat depressed. In protrusion it first 
makes its appearance as a single sharp point ; 
as it comes farther out the tip separates into 
two points, and the organ is seen to be forked 
for a short distance. When fully protruded, 



the aspect is changed and the outline of the 
extremity, as seen from above, resembles that 
of the tail of a shad. As the tongue is drawn 
in, the tips approach each other till once more 
closely applied. Thus, the forked portion 
moves sidewise like the blades of a pair of 
scissors as the tongue goes out and back. Any 
of the fluid that adhered was carried into the 
mouth by the retraction,, and no doubt the 
tongue was followed by a slight current induced 
by suction that took in a little more ; the 
amount of suction, however, must have been 
very slight, judging from the time occupied in 
eating a single egg. On each of four days one 
egg was consumed ; then followed a week of 
fasting, the most of which was cloudy weather. 
Readiness to feed depended greatly on the 
temperature and brightness of the day ; in con- 
sequence the meals were quite irregular. 

On the bottom of the box there were some 
inches of sand with several rocks ; under the 
side of one of the latter the burrow was made. 
The digging was all done with the hands ; be- 
ginning with the left the sand was thrown back 
with some force in slow strokes, about thirty to 
the minute, then the right was used in the 
same way. The motions were outward or 
lateral, not vertical like those of a dog. For a 
while the sand was dug out directly, until it 
began to pour back ; then a position was taken 
up on the top of the heap that had been made, 
and it was thrown still farther back ; gradually 
working forward, conditions were soon made 
favorable for continuance ot excavation at the 
bottom of the burrow. At the depth of about 
a foot the body was hidden and only the tail 
exposed. This depth appeared to be satisfac- 
tory for a time, and the dwelling was occupied 
as if complete. 

The tail is club shaped, near six inches in 
length by one and a half in diameter, and re- 
tains its thickness back toward the end where 
it rather abruptly tapers to become more 
slender and pointed. When the tail was stick- 
ing out of the excavation, as in digging, the 
slender extremity moved from side to side, back 



NATURE'S REALM. 



101 



and forth and around, with more flexibility 
than was to be expected from its size, as if con- 
stantly on the alert for unseen danger. The 
organ is very sensitive. While asleep the tail 
was stowed as if to insure its safety ; it was 
either extended directly back into the burrow, 
half of the body remaining outside, or, when 
the animal was wholly under cover, it was 
bent forward along the side. In sleep, the 
body lies flat on the sand and the arms were 
usually stretched back, palms upward. After 
a few weeks less care was taken in regard to 
entering the burrow during the day, and the 
naps were taken anywhere in the box. 

The box was not well placed for the sun- 
shine ; it was covered with a strong netting. 
Some attempts to get through the net one 
morning caused the occupant to be taken by 
the shoulders and lifted over into another cage 
where he might get the full benefit of the sun. 
This was quietly enjoyed until the sun had 
passed, then there was another attempt on the 
cover, followed by return to the first box and 
retreat into the hole. This came to be the 
regular proceeding. Every morning about 
9 o'clock the fellow climbed up in the corner 
of his box, whence he was lifted over into the 
sunshine to take a nap until the shadows came 
upon him, then he would climb in the corner 
again till returned to the larger box to take his 
favorite position in his den for awhile. To for- 
get or neglect him was out of the question ; 
his scratching would not permit it. 

The number of eggs charged to him does not 
average more than one per week ; the other 
food given him amounted to very little. 

In the latter part of July he began to slough. 
The epiderm came off in a very ragged way, 
in shreds and patches. There seemed to be no 
effort to hasten the process, and a month later 
it was not entirely finished. Thinking to hurry 
the matter, in case all had not gone along in 
the normal way, a bath tub was furnished with 
water sufficient to completely cover him. At 
once he showed a fondness for lying in the 
water with his snout sticking out ; this was- va- 
ried by lying on the bank with his tail sticking 
in, a position which he apparently found to be 
very delightful. 

Heloderma was really good natured. To be 



sure he was easily worried into self-defense, 
but there was nothing vicious in his disposi- 
tion. To scratch him on the sides, or rub the 
knobbed scales of his back, or, more readily 
than either, to blow in his face would make 
him open his mouth, for which he was not 
much to be blamed, but even then something 
had to be put between his teeth to get him to 
bite, he had so little desire to take hold of his 
tormentor. 

His thirst required more attention than his 
hunger; he drank frequently and always with 
great deliberation. To tempt his appetite vari- 
ous things, such as insects, worms, young 
birds, mice, meats and cooked foods were put 
before him. He took none of them voluntarily, 
but would swallow occasional offerings if they 
were put into his mouth. Some things he 
would not accept on any terms, they were put 
out of the mouth as fast as put in ; others that 
he might be induced to swallow were held in 
his jaws for a long time. At the end of a year 
the only evidence of loss of flesh was to be no- 
ticed near the end of the tail, where it had 
grown a little more thin and pointed. The 
body had retained its plumpness, being rather 
more than three and a half inches wide to 
twelve inches long, without the tail. 

His only sound was a long-drawn aspirate 
hah ! like a sigh produced by expelling the 
breath irom the lungs. If teased till out of pa- 
tience, this was given out with the mouth 
partly open, when it had all the force of a 
warning ; whether it was intended for that pur- 
pose or was merely preparation for a struggle, 
by lessening the bulk, are still to be considered. 
It really answered both purposes. 

In regard to the nature of the venom and 
fatality of the bite there is little to offer that is 
new. The results of the experiments suggest 
danger for small animals but little or none for 
larger ones. Large angle worms and insects 
seemed to die much more quickly when bitten 
than when cut to pieces with the scissors. 

Acquaintance with this specimen has satis- 
fied me, however, that the reports of the deadly 
nature ot the species are mainly exaggerations, 
with little, if any, foundation in fact. Popular 
opinion, and, for that matter, its manner of 
origin, are illustrated by the following, credited 



102 



NATURE'S REALM. 



to Col. A. G. Tassin, U. S. A., in the Overland 
Monthly: "The Gila monster is an ugly- 
reptile peculiar to Arizona, and, as its name 
implies, most common along the Gila River. 
It is a sort of a cross between a lizard and an 
alligator, roughly striped black and white on 
a yellowish background. Its length varies 
from ten to thirty inches, and a large-sized fel- 
low is as thick as a strong man's arm. When 
prodded with a stick it hisses and thrusts out its 
heavy forked tongue, raising its head mena- 
cingly, but scarcely moving otherwise. Its 
bite is often fatal, the effect depending more or 
less upon the state of the saurian's temper and 
the depth of the wound. Its breath in hissing 
is offensive, and issues from a wide-open mouth 
in puffs of black vapor or smoke, The Mexi- 
cans I have questioned all told me that it was 
exceedingly poisonous, as much so as the bite, 
if not more, while many of the Americans 
thought it harmless. Having myself seen a 
chicken and a small puppy killed by the hissing 
of one in their faces, I am inclined to think that 
it is best to keep from coming in contact with 
it." Comment on this is unnecessary. Still more 
conclusive in its way is the following, originally 
from the Cochise Record, reprinted without 
comment in the "Proceedings of the Zoological 
Society of London," 1888: "Sunday evening 
Dr. Matthews was summoned by telegram to 
Fairbanks (a railway station near Tombstone, 
Ariz. Ter.) to attend Col. Yearger, who was 
reported seriously ill. Owing to delay in the 
telegram, the doctor did not reach the patient 
until several hours after his death, which had 
been very sudden. 

" It appears that Yearger had been fooling 
with a Gila monster, and in attempting to open 
the creature's mouth was bitten on the right 
thumb. Instantly the poison took effect, and, 
although every convenient remedy was applied, 
he lived but a few hours. An inquest was 
subsequently held, and a verdict returned in 
accordance with the above facts. 

" As this is the third or fourth death which 
has occurred in the Territory from bites of this 
reptile, it should set at rest, at once and for- 
ever, the theory so prevalent that their bite is 
not poisonous." 

For comparison with the foregoing we may 



bring forward the evidence of a couple of wit- 
nesses of scientific reputation. They have no 
interest in destroying the character of the ac- 
cused and may be expected to give testimony 
without prejudice. If they are less positive in 
their assertions than the preceding, it is possi- 
bly due to to their actual acquaintance with 
the creature. 

Dr. E. Sumichrast, under date ot 1880, in the 
Bulletin de la Socie'ie Zoologique de France, 
page 178, remarks concerning Heloderma hor- 
ridum : " J'ai peu de chose a ajouter aux ob- 
servations de moeurs que j'ai publie"es sur cette 
espece, il y a quelques annexes, si ce n'est, 
qu'apres de nouvelles experiences sur sa mor- 
sure, je suis arrive a la conviction qu'elle occa- 
sionne rarement la mort chez les animaux d'une 
certaine taille et que, la plupart du temps, elle 
n'est suivie que d'une enflure de la partie mor- 
due qui disparait au bout de vingt-quatre 
heures au plus ; e'est au moins le seul effet 
qu'elle ait produit sur plusieurs jeunes chiens 
que j'ai fait mordre dernierement." 

Dr. R. \V. Shufeldt is one who, from having 
been incautious enough to get bitten, is enti- 
tled to speak with some degree of assurance. 
His statement is found in the American Nat- 
uralist for 1882, page 908. He was bitten on 
the right thumb, the teeth going to the bone, 
by a specimen at the Smithsonian Institution. 
The lacerated wound was in a few moments 
the starting point of severe shooting pains that 
passed up the arm and down the corresponding 
side. A profuse perspiration was induced. 
The pain made him so faint as to fall. The 
hand swelled rapidly, but the swelling went no 
farther than the wrist. The treatment included 
suction, which drew not a little blood from the 
wound, a small quantity of whiskey, external 
application of ice and laudanum and a lead- 
water wash afterward to reduce the swelling. 
He passed a sleepless night. By the next day 
the swelling was considerably reduced and 
thereafter disappeared gradually. The follow- 
ing is the conclusion of the Doctor's statement: 
"Taking everything into consideration, we 
must believe the bite of Heloderma suspectum 
to be a harmless one beyond the ordinary 
symptoms that usually follow the bite of any 
irritated animal. I have seen, as perhaps all 



NATURES REALM. 



103 



surgeons have, the most serious consequences 
follow the bite inflicted by an angry man, and 
several years ago the writer had his hand con- 
fined in a sling for many weeks from such a 
•wound administered by the teeth of a common 
cat, the even tenor of whose life had been sud- 
denly interrupted." 

The most conclusive of my own experiments 
on the subject of this notice, H. suspectum, 
eighteen inches in length, was made with a 
young cat less than one-third grown. The cat 
was bitten on the right hand and wrist, the 
lizard holding fast like a bull dog, and blood 
was seen to flow when they were released. 
That there might be no doubt of the effective- 
ness of the bite, in two minutes the teeth were 
inserted a second time, the saurian retaining 
his hold and sinking his teeth deeper as the 
cat struggled to get free. For half an hour or 
more the wound occasioned some distress and 
was licked and dressed by the kitten, which then 
went to sleep for about an hour and a half. 
In expectation of its death it was left undis- 
turbed. To my surprise it awoke as lively as 
if nothing had happened. Though the hand 
was somewhat swollen, it was but slightly 
lame. Twenty-four hours afterward, when it 
was as bright as ever and apparently without 
ill-effects from its mishap, the same cat was 
again bitten twice on the forearm, a little 
higher than before. As in the first experiment 
there was no room to doubt the penetration of 
the teeth. The cat again licked the wounds 
and for a considerable time was occupied in 
dressing them. There was no disposition to 
go to sleep as on the day before. In two 
hours, as soon as the cat was inclined to pay 
no farther attention to its wounds, it was killed 
and the skin removed the better to note the ef- 
fects of the bites. The forearm and hand were 
found to be swollen to twice the size of the op- 
posite hand and arm. The track ot each tooth 
was marked by the blood in and close around 
it, and the number and depth left no doubt of 
the conclusiveness of the experiment; the teeth 
had gone to the bones and between them. I 
saw nothing by which to distinguish the cuts 
from those made by a needle. There were no 
signs of disorganization in either the first or 
the second bites. Nothing could he seen in 



the way of discoloration or otherwise to give 
reason for any other conclusion than that the 
kitten would have entirely recovered in a few 
hours, by the time the swelling had gone 
down, if it had been allowed to live. 

The outcome of such observations as have 
been made on this specimen has been confirm- 
ation of the opinion that the species is ven- 
omous to a certain degree, to an extent that, 
while it may most often prove fatal to very 
small animals, is only in exceptional instances 
deadly or perhaps even dangerous to larger 
ones. The effect on the kitten was identical 
with that on the puppies in Sumichrast's ex- 
periments. That poison was introduced by the 
bite was evident from the distress and swelling 
occasioned. 

Dr. Fischer has described and figured secre- 
tory apparatus on the lower jaws ; no glands 
have been found on the upper. There is an 
important question to be solved in connection 
with this apparent lack of venom-secreting or- 
gans on one of the jaws, which is quite as well 
prepared for its use as the other on which the 
glands are so well developed. On both upper 
and lower jaws each tooth has a lateral groove 
on each side ; these furrows are supposed to 
be for the purpose of inserting the venom in 
the wounds made by the teeth. Unless there 
are, not yet discovered, means of supplying 
venom to the upper teeth, it is difficult to see 
how their furrows are made available, it not by 
means of a quantity set free in the mouth, from 
the lower jaws, before the attempt to bite, a 
process of such uncertain efficacy as hardly to 
be considered probable. 

Averse to torturing the creature, no attempt 
was made to verify the statement made by 
Sumichrast concerning the habit of turning on 
the back to defend itself when struck or beaten 
with a club. However, it might be expected 
to do just what is asserted of it under such 
circumstance, for the position would be that 
which would enable it most effectively to use 
feet and claws in aid of the teeth in self-defense. 

The breath is no more colored than that of 
human beings ; neither is it nor could it be 
any more offensive in its odor than the incense 
wafted from the lips of multitudes of the repre- 
sentatives of proud humanity. In regard to 



io4 



NATURES REALM. 



the breath being- venom-laden, that of the 
specimen before us certainly was not so ; here 
again it would be no very difficult undertaking 
to select an army of men with whom a com- 
parison in this respect would undoubtedly prove 
complimentary in the "monster." 

And, finally, it may be said that unprejudiced 



consideration of the matter as it stands between 
the reptile and his detractors, will not fail to 
convince any one that a great deal ot the dis- 
repute with which so much of the testimony is 
weighted should not by any means be attached 
to the lizard. 



THE ALLIGATOR OF FLORIDA. 



By Isaac McLellax. 



Clad in his iron coat of mail, 
Cuirass and helm and corslet-scale, 
Like harness'd knight in tented field, 
With breast-plate and his brazen shield, 
This monster grim, in escalade, 
Defies the bullet and the blade, 
Like the dark tenant of the Nile, 
The fierce, unwieldy crocodile, 
Proud in impenetrable strength, 
Who, stretched on mud-flat all his length, 
With gaping jaw and lashing tail, 
Encrushes all who may assail. 

Amid thy swamps and stagnant creeks, 
Where air with foul miasmas reeks, 
Oh ! Florida, famous for thy flowers, 
Thy green, thy semi-tropic bowers, 
Thy lemon groves, thy orange blooms, 
Magnolias fainting with perfumes, 
Thy natural gardens, brimming o'er 
With flowerets, a delicious store, 
Thy rivulets clear, thy rivers grand, 
That fertilize thy bounteous land, 



Thy mirror'd bays, where swan and goose 
Their winnowing pinions free unloose, 
Where fly the red-head and the teal, 
Dense squadrons of the black-duck wheel ; 
The canvas-back and wood ducks speed 
Across the marsh and yellow reed ; 
There, lurk'd in bay and salty sound, 
The alligators grim abound. 

Each estuary of the shore, 

And where the whirling eddies pour, 

Each dusky pool, each shelly cove, 

Are dangerous where thy numbers rove. 

No mortal and no creature may 

Unmenaced cross the watery way ; 

Against thy jaws and sweeping tail 

No speed, no valor may avail. 

The fishes are thy lawful prize, 

The mangrove snapper, gay with dyes, 

Cavalli and the grouper red, 

And mullet, thy assaultings dread, 

And jew fish and the tarpon great 

Meet in thy jaws a tragic fate. 



THE HERMIT THRUSH 

I5v Stkwari E. White. 

It is the twelfth of May, and, although the sky 
forbids and the air feels like rain, I am again 
n the old pines, for it is the height of the sea- 
son and the woods are filled with the countless 
hosts of warblers. The buds have awakened 
from their long sleep, and, half opening, adorn 
the trees with a delicate lace-like sprinkling of 
green that later, when fully developed, is lost 
in the abundance of foliage. The air is still 
with the breathless calm that precedes a rain, 
and even the sprightly songs of the warblers, 
at other times so welcome, now seem out of 
place. Far off in the forest a low preliminary 
sighing is heard, and the clouds, that have 
stolen up unnoticed, shut off even the infre- 
quent bursts of sunlight that were before en- 
joyed. With a sudden roar the storm bursts, 
accompanied by sheets of rain. 

The songs are instantly hushed and only a 
few frightened calls are heard from the misty 
figures so busily seeking shelter. As for my- 
self, I am well hidden under the leaning body 
of a fallen tree and can afford to laugh at the 
wet. As suddenly as they came the storm 
clouds roll by and the sun, bursting forth, illu- 
mines each crystal drop, flashing it forth in 
many colors, arraying the forest in Nature's 
most beautiful and precious jewels. Even 
while all Nature hangs breathless and appalled 
after this outburst, from the darkest depths of 
the woods far off rises a beautiful hymn of 
thanksgiving. Clear, yet soft ; sweet, yet with 
such power that it can be heard in all parts of 
the woods, one listens entranced. The ex- 
pression is one of perfect peace ; no earthly joy 
rings in this strain, no harsh notes or abrupt 
pauses, but one feels that its author must have 
passed all trials and temptations, and must be 
repeating the melody of another world. For a 
time the superb performer has no rivals, but 
soon the much-vaunted wood thrush takes up 
the strain ; although he repeats nearly the same 
notes, there is a sharper metallic ring that jars 
on the soul after listening to his peer, the her- 
mit thrush. 

A change of scene. I was sleeping in my 



bed, the sound sleep that visits mortal beings 
just before the dawn. My dreams were ravish- 
ingly sweet, a confusion of violets and sweetly 
smelling thyme, a soft, delicious radiance was 
about me, and silvery tinkling notes broke 
gently on my ear. The thyme and violets 
gradually wafted their airy selves away, the 
soft radiance paled, but the silvery notes still 
remained connected and rising in glorious ca- 
dence just outside my window. The green ex- 
panse of maple leaves waving slowly to and 
fro served to hide the glorious performer from 
the golden beams of the newly risen sun, but 
could not quench the fountain of melody con- 
cealed in a little bird's yellow throat. For two 
hours I lay in dreamy forgetfulness drinking in 
the harmony, enjoying a treat of unpriced 
value, yet within the reach of all. 

I love to watch the progression of this bird 
from the moment when, early in the spring, he 
appears, skulking shyly through the woods. 
He comes as early as the middle of April, be- 
guiled to the North by the softening of the 
weather, only to find his old haunts open and 
bare. Out of his natural element and sure 
refuge, the green leaves, his confidence is gone, 
and he keeps well out of sight, uttering but a 
deprecatory cry. On your approach he skulks 
aside into the densest thicket, even that, alas ! 
too thin for concealment ; but it is the best to 
be had, so in its vicinity he stays, rarely as- 
cending beyond the lower limbs of the trees. 
As the foliage matures he contents himself with 
flying from his feeding ground among the dead 
leaves to the nearest branch, where he silently 
sits, eyeing you sharply, slowly waving his tail 
up and quickly down. His bright eyes no 
longer wear the hunted look, but gaze freely 
at you, conscious of supremacy in his chosen 
kingdom. 

Hermit by force of circumstances, not by in- 
clination, he avoids not the approach of living 
beings, neither does he seek their company. 
The freshest, coolest and most delightful woods 
are his ; the woods where the trees are tall, the 
underbrush soft and green, underfoot are the 



io6 



NATURE'S REALM. 



ferns and cool mosses. Here the sunlight, 
broken by the sieve of leaves, falls in a golden 
shower, and the tiny brook creeping through 
the cresses lingers as if loth to leave. Here, 
as in the pines, is a solemn stillness, but in this 
case animate Nature seems not to intrude. 
Here the rat-tat-tat of the woodpecker, the 
ceaseless warbling of the vireo, the rustling 
whisper of the wind, the barking of the squir- 
rels, even the lowing of cattle, seem each to 
have its place and to add to and become a part 
of the beauty of the spot. At the foot of the 
elm, shadowed with ferns and hairbells, is a 
still pool of crystal water; it is the bathing 
place of the fairies. Well our friend knows 
the spot, bordered by verdant shores of moss, 
and often of an early morning may he be sur- 
prised here at his toilet. 

The last of May comes on apace ; visions of 
a summer home arise before the thrush, for al- 
ready the oven bird has claimed the woods as 
his, and it is time to move. . 

Did you, when you heard him before, think 
this to be the finest musician the world has 
ever seen ? Nqw your decision is doubly, 
triply confirmed. From the shores of the lake 
the bluffs rise, covered with cedars and firs. 
As evening approaches a single liquid note is 
heard close at hand ; a moment's pause, and it 
is answered farther on. Then rises the grand 
anthem as before, richened and completed by 
the ripening fires of love. Far down the cliff 
another replies, then another and another, un- 
til the air trembles with the melody. Little by 
little it becomes less intense, one by one the 
performers are silent, until at last, with the 
rising of the moon, perfect stillness broods 
over the land. 

The summer wears on ; domestic cares si- 



lence the musician, for such earnest hard work 
as he is now called upon to do is incompatible 
with song. The youngsters manifest a per- 
plexing disposition to place themselves in dan- 
gerous positions, from which it is necessary 
that they should be extricated. Their mouths 
are always open ; they must be guided in their 
early aerial efforts. Altogether the situation is 
so worrisome that it is no wonder that his for- 
mer cheerful note is changed to a harsh pwe, 
delivered in an inquiring tone of voice that is 
positively ludicrous. His anxiety is such that 
he will decoy with the greatest of haste for al- 
most any kind of a " screeping " noise. Grad- 
ually the youth of the family acquire a knowl- 
edge of the world and its ways, and before long 
are as well able to take care of themselves as 
are their parents. 

The southward migration begins about as we 
would wish to return home ourselves, so we 
are thus enabled to watch him in the closing 
scene of the year. His homes are now on the 
sere hillsides, where the trees have dropped 
their leaves, where the grouse rises with a 
mighty roar. In thinking of the hermit thrush 
in fall a certain scene always rises to my mind. 
It is the side of a long, wooded slope. Here 
and there stands a scrub oak, the dried leaves 
rustling in the wind; the thrush is always a 
little in advance, striking an attitude on a cross 
limb, flitting so silently on that his figure is 
almost elf-like in its strangeness. On all sides 
are these phantom shapes, always silent and 
watchful. One day they disappear, and the 
year with the hermit thrush is ended. In his 
southern home, no doubt, he enjoys lite as 
well, but for us alone he keeps the sweetest, 
most beautiful phases of his life. 



HENRY WARD BEECHER OX THE LOVE FOR FLOWERS. 



Happy is the man that loves flowers ! Happy, 
even if it be a love adulterated with vanity and 
strife. For human passions nestle in flower- 
lovers too. Some employ their zeal chiefly in 
horticultural competitions, or in the ambition 
of floral shows. Others love flowers as curios- 
ities, and search for novelties, for "sports," and 
vegetable monstrosities. We have been led 
through costly collections by men whose chief 
pleasure seemed to be in the effect which their 
treasures produced on others, not on them- 
selves. Their love of flowers was only the love 
of being praised for having them. But there is 
a choice in vanities and ostentations. A con- 
test of roses is better than of horses. We had 
rather be vain of the best tulip, dahlia or 
rananculus, than of the best shot. Of all fools, 
a floral fool deserves the eminence. 

But these aside, blessed be the man that 
really loves flowers ! — loves them for their own 
sake, for their beauty, their associations, the 
joys they have given and always will give ; so 
that he would sit down among them as friends 
and companions, if there was not another crea- 
ture on earth to admire or praise them. But 
such men need no blessing of mine. They are 
blessed of God ! Did He not make the world 
for such men ? Are they not clearly the own- 
ers of the world, and the richest of all men ? 

It is the end of art to inoculate men with the 
love of Nature. But those who have a passion 
for Nature in the natural way need no pictures 
nor galleries. Spring is their designer, and the 
whole year their artist. 

He who only does not appreciate floral 
beauty is to be pitied like any other man who 
is born imperfect. It is a misfortune not unlike 
blindness. But men who contemptuously re- 
ject flowers as effeminate and unworthy of 
manhood, reveal a certain coarseness. Were 
flowers fit to eat or drink, were they stimulative 
of passions, or could they be gambled with like 
stocks and public consciences, they would take 
them up just where finer minds would drop 
them, who love them as the revelations of 
God's sense of beauty, as addressed to the taste, 
and to something finer and deeper than taste, 



to that power within us which spiritualizes 
matter, and communes with God through His 
work, and not for their paltry market value. 

Many persons lose all enjoyment of many- 
flowers by indulging false associations. There 
be some who think that no weed can be of in- 
terest as a flower. But all flowers are weeds 
where they grow wildly and abundantly ; and 
somewhere our rarest flowers are somebody's 
commonest. Flowers growing in noisome 
places, in desolate corners, upon rubbish or 
rank desolation, become disagreeable by asso- 
ciation. Roadside flowers, ineradicable, and 
hardly beyond all discouragement, lose them- 
selves from our sense of delicacy and protec- 
tion. And, generally, there is a disposition to 
undervalue common flowers. There are few 
that will trouble themselves to examine min- 
utely a blossom that they have seen and neg- 
lected from their childhood ; and yet if they 
would but question such flowers, and commune 
with them, they would often be surprised to 
find extreme beauty where it had long been 
overlooked. 

If a plant be uncouth, it has no attractions to 
us simply because it has been brought from the 
ends of the earth and is a " great rarity ; " if it 
has beauty, it is none the less, but a great deal 
more attractive to us, because it is common. 
A very common flower adds generosity to 
beauty. It gives joy to the poor, the rude, and 
to the multitudes who could have no flowers 
were Nature to charge a price for her blossoms. 
Is a cloud less beautiful, or a sea, or a moun- 
tain, because often seen, or seen by millions? 

At any rate, while we lose no fondness for 
eminent and accomplished flowers, we are 
conscious of a growing respect for the floral 
democratic throng. There is for instance, the 
mullein, of but little beauty in each floweret, 
but a brave plant, growing cheerfully and 
heartily out of abandoned soils, ruffling its 
root about, with broad-palmed, generous, velvet 
leaves, and erecting therefrom a towering 
spire that always inclines us to stop for a 
kindly look. This fine plant is left, by most 
people, like a decayed old gentleman, to a 



io8 



NATURE'S REALM. 



good-natured pity. But in other countries it is 
a flower, and called the " American velvet 
plant." 

We confess to a homely enthusiasm for 
clover — not the white clover, beloved of honey 
bees — but the red clover. It holds up its 
round, ruddy face and honest head with such 
rustic innocence ! Do you ever see it without 
thinking of a sound, sensible, country lass, 
sun-browned and fearless, as innocence always 
should be ? We go through a field of red 
clover like Solomon in a garden of spices. 

There is the burdock too, with its prickly 
rosettes, that has little beauty or value, except 
(like some kind, brown, good-natured nurse) 
as an amusement to children, who manufacture 
baskets, houses and various marvelous uten- 
sils of its burrs. The thistle is a prince. Let 
any man that has an eye for beauty take a view 
of the whole plant, and where will he see more 
expressive grace and symmetry, and where is 
there a more kingly flower ? To be sure, there 
are sharp objections to it in a bouquet. Neither 
is it a safe neighbor to the farm, having a 
habit of scattering its seeds like a very heretic. 
But most gardeners feel toward a thistle as boys 
toward a snake, and farmers, with more rea- 
son, dread it like a plague. But it is just as 
beautiful as if it were a universal favorite. 

What shall we say of mayweed, irreverently 
called dog-fennel by some ? Its acrid juice, its 
heavy, pungent odor, make it disagreeable ; 
and being disagreeable, its enormous Malthu- 
sian propensities to increase render it hateful 
to damsels of white stockings, compelled to 
walk through it on dewy mornings. Arise, 
Oh ! scythe, and devour it ! 

The buttercup is a flower of our childhood, 
and very brilliant in our eyes. Its strong 
color, seen afar off, often provoked its fate, for 
through the mowing lot we went after it. re- 
gardless of orchard grass and herd grass, 
plucking down its long, slender stems, crowned 
with golden chalices, until the father, covetous 
of hay, shouted to us, " Out of that grass ! out 
of that grass ! you rogue ! " 

The first thing that defies the frost in spring 
is the chickweed. It will open its floral eye 
and look the thermometer in the face at 32 ° ; it 
leads out the snowdrop and crocus. Its blos- 



som is diminutive ; and no wonder, for it be- 
gins so early in the season that it has little 
time to make much of itself. But, as a har- 
binger and herald, let it not be forgotten. 

You cannot forget, if you would, those golden 
kisses all over the cheeks of the meadow, 
queerly called dandelions. There are many 
green-house blossoms less pleasing to us than 
these. And we have reached through many a 
fence, since we were incarcerated, like them, 
in a city, to pluck one of these yellow flower 
drops. Their passing away is more spirit'Jal 
than their bloom. Nothing can be more airy 
and beautiful than the transparent seed-globe — 
a fairy dome of splendid architeciure. 

As for marigolds, poppies, hollyhocks and 
valorous sunflowers, we shall never have a 
garden without them, both for their own sake 
and for the sake of old-fashioned folks who 
used to love them. Morning glories — or, to 
call them by their city names, the convolvulus — 
need no praising. The vine, the leaf, the ex- 
quisite, vase-formed flower, the delicate and 
various colors, will secure it from neglect while 
tasfe remains. Grape blossoms and mignon- 
nette do not appeal to the eye ; and, if they 
were selfish, no man would care for them. 
Yet because they pour their life out in fra- 
grance they are always loved, and, like homely 
people with noble hearts, they seem beautiful 
by association. Nothing that produces con- 
stant pleasure in us can fail to seem beautiful. 
We do not need to speak for that universal fa- 
vorite — the rose. As a flower is the finest 
stroke of creation, so the rose is the happiest 
hit among flowers. Yet, in the feast of ever 
blooming roses, and of double roses, we are in 
danger of being perverted from a love of sim- 
plicity, as manifested in the wild, single rose. 
When a man can look upon the simple, wild 
rose, and feel no pleasure, his taste has been 
corrupted. 

But we must not neglect the blossoms o: 
fruit trees. What a great heart an apple tree 
must have ! What generous work it makes of 
blossoming ! It is not content with a single 
bloom for each apple that is to be, but a pro- 
fusion, a prodigality of blossom there must be. 
The tree is but a huge bouquet. It gives you 
twenty times as much as there is need for, and 



NATURE'S REALM. 



109 



evidently because it loves to blossom. We will 
praise this virtuous tree. Not beautiful in 
form, often clumpy, cragged and rude ; but it 
is glorious in beauty when efflorescent. Nor is it 
a'beauty only at a distance and in the mass. 
Pluck down a twig and examine as closely as 
you will ; it will bear the nearest looking. The 
simplicity and purity of the white, expanded 
flower, the half-open buds slightly blushed, the 
little pink-tipped buds unopen, crowding up 
together like rosy children around an elder 
brother or sister. Can anything surpass it ? 
Why, here is a cluster more beautiful than any 
you can make up artificially, even if you select 
from the whole garden. Wear this family of 
buds for my sake. It is all the better for being 
common. I love a flower that all may have ; 
that belongs to the whole, and not to a select 
and exclusive few. Common, forsooth ! a 
flower cannot be worn out by much looking at, 
as a road is by much travel. 

How one exhales, and feels his childhood 
coming back to him, when, emerging from the 
hard and hatetul city streets, he sees orchards 
and gardens in sheeted bloom — plum, cherry, 
pear, peach and apple, waves and billows of 
blossoms rolling over the hill sides and down 
through the levels ! My heart runs riot. This 
is a kingdom of glory. The bees know it. 
Are the blossoms singing, or is all this hum- 
ming sound the music of bees ? The frivolous 
flies, that never seem to be thinking of any- 
thing, are rather sober and solemn here. Such 
a sight is equal to a sunset, which is but a 
blossoming of the clouds. 

We love to fancy that a flower is the point of 
transition at which a material thing touches 
the immaterial ; it is the sentient vegetable 
soul. We ascribe dispositions to it ; we treat 
it as we would an innocent child. A stem or 
root has no suggestion of life. A leaf advances 
towaid it; and some leaves are as fine as 
flowers, and have, moreover, a grace of motion 
seldom had by flowers. Flowers have an ex- 
pression of countenance as much as men or 
animals. Some seem to smile ; some have a 
sad expression ; some are pensive and diffident ; 
others, again, are plain, honest and upright, 
like the broad-faced sunflower and the holly- 
hock. We find ourselves speaking of them as 



laughing, as gay and coquettish, as nodding 
and dancing. No man of sensibility ever spoke 
of a flower as he would of a fungus, a pebble 
or a sponge. Indeed, they are more life-like 
than many animals. We commune with flow- 
ers — we go to them it we are sad or glad ; but 
a toad, a worm, an insect, we repel, as if real 
life was not so real as imaginary life. What a 
pity flowers can utter no sound ! A singing 
rose, a whispering violet, a murmuring honey- 
suckle ! Oh ! what a rare and exquisite mir- 
acle would these be ! 

When we hear melodious sounds — the wind 
among the trees, the noise of a brook falling 
down into a deep, leaf-covered cavity — birds' 
notes, especially at night; children's voices as 
you ride into a village at dusk, far from your 
long absent home, and quite home-sick ; or a 
flute hean:l from out of a forest, a silver sound 
rising up among silver-lit leaves into the moon- 
lighted air ; or the low conversations of persons 
whom you love, that sit at the fire in the room 
where you are convalescing. When we think 
of these things we are apt to imagine that 
nothing is perfect that has not the gift of sound. 
But we change our mind when we dwell lov- 
ingly among flowers, for they are always silent. 
Sound is never associated with them. They 
speak to you, but it is as the eye speaks, by 
vibrations of light and not of air. 

It is with flowers as with friends. Many 
may be loved, but few much loved. Wild 
honeysuckles in the wood, laurel bushes in the 
very regality of bloom, are very beautiful to 
you. But they are color and form only. They 
seem strangers to you. You have no memories 
reposed in them. They bring back nothing 
from Time. They point to nothing in the fu- 
ture. But a wild brier starts a genial feeling. 
It is the country cousin of the rose, and that 
has always been your pet. You have nursed 
it and defended it ; you have had it for com- 
panionship as you wrote ; it has stood by your 
pillow while sick ; it has brought remembrance 
to you, and conveyed your kindest feelings to 
others. You remember it as a mother's favor- 
ite ; it speaks to you of your own childhood — 
that white rosebush that snowed in the corner 
by the door ; that generous bush that blushed 
red in the garden with a thousand flowers, 



no 



NATURES REALM. 



whose gorgeousness was among the first things 
that drew your childish eyes, and which always 
comes up before you when you speak of child- 
hood. You remember, too, that your mother 
loved roses. As you walked to church she 
plucked off a bud and gave you, which you 
carried because you were proud to do as she 
did. You remember how, in the listening hour 
of sermon, her roses fell neglected on her lap — 
and how you slyly drew one and another of 
them ; and how, when she came to, she looked 
for them under her handkerchief and on the 
floor, until, spying the ill-repressed glee of your 
face, she smiled such a look of love upon you 
as made a rose forever after seem to you as if it 
smiled a mother's smile. And so a wild rose, 
a prairie rose or a sweet brier, that at evening 
fills the air with odor (a floral nightingale 
whose song is perfume), greets you as a dear 
and intimate friend. You almost wish to get 
out, as you travel, and inquire after their 
health, and ask if they wish to send any mes- 
sage by you to their town friends. 

But no flower can be so strange or so new 
that a friendliness does not spring up at once 
between you. You gather them up along your 
rambles, and sit down to make their acquaint- 
ance on some shaded bank with your feet over 
the brook, where your shoes feed their vanity 
as in a mirror. You assort them ; you ques- 
tion their graces ; you enjoy their odor ; you 
range them on the grass in a row and look 
from one to another; you gather them up and 
study a fit gradation of colors, and search for 
new specimens to fill the degrees between too 
violent extremes. All the while, and it is a 
long while, if the day be gracious and leisure 
ample, various suggestions and analogies of 
life are darting in and out of your mind. This 
flower is like some friend ; another reminds 
you of mignonnette, and mignonnette always 
makes you think of such a garden and mansion 
where it enacted some memorable part ; and 
that flower conveys some strange and unex- 
pected resemblance to certain events of society ; 
this one is a bold soldier ; that one is a sweet 
lady dear; the white flowering blood-root, 
trooping up by the side of a decaying log, re- 
calls to your fancy a band of white-bannered 
knights ; and so your pleased attention strays 



through a thousand vagaries of fancy, or 
memory, or vaticinating hope. 

Yet these are not home flowers. You did 
not plant them. You have not screened them. 
You have not watched their growth, plucked 
away voracious worms or nibbling bugs ; you 
have not seen them in the same places year 
after year, children of your care and love. 
Around such there is an artificial life, an asso- 
ciational beauty, a fragrance and grace of the 
affections, that no wild flowers can have. 

It is a matter of gratitude that this finest grift 
of Providence is the most profusely given. 
Flowers cannot be monopolized. The poor 
can have them as much as the rich. It does 
not require such an education to love and ap- 
preciate them as it would to admire a picture 
of Turner's or a statue of Thorwaldsen's. And, 
as they are messengers of affection, tokens of 
remembrance, and presents of beauty, of uni- 
versal acceptance, it is pleasant to think that 
all men recognize a brief brotherhood in them. 
It is not impertinent to offer flowers to a 
stranger. The poorest child can proffer them 
to the richest. A hundred persons turned to- 
gether into a meadow full of flowers would be 
drawn together in a transient brotherhood. 

It is affecting to see how serviceable flowers 
often are to the necessities of the poor. If they 
bring their little floral gift to you it cannot but 
touch your heart to think that their grateful 
affection longed to express itself as much as 
yours. You have books, or gems, or services, 
that you can render as you will. The poor 
can give but little and do but little. Were it 
not for flowers they would be shut out from 
those exquisite pleasures which spring from 
such gifts. I never take one from a child, or 
from the poor, that I do not thank God in their 
behalf for flowers. 

And then, when Death enters a poor man's 
house ! It may be the child was the only crea- 
ture that loved the unbefriended father — really 
loved him ; loved him utterly. Or, it may be, 
it is an only son, and his mother a widow, who, 
in all his sickness, felt the limitation of her 
poverty for her darling's sake as she never had 
for her own, and did what she could, but not 
what she would had there been wealth. The 
coffin is pine. The undertaker sold it with a 



NATURE'S REALM. 



1 1 1 



jerk of indifference and haste, lest he should 
lose the selling of a rosewood coffin, trimmed 
with splendid silver screws. The room is 
small. The attendant neighbors are few. The 
shroud is coarse. Oh ! the darling child was 
fit for whatever was most excellent, and the 
heart aches to do for him whatever could be 
done that should speak love. It takes money 
for fine linen ; money for costly sepulture. But 
flowers, thank God, the poorest may have. So 
put white buds in the hair, and honey-dew, 
and mignonnette, and half-blown roses, on the 
breast. If it be spring, a few white violets will 
do ; and there is not a month till November 



that will not give you something. But, if it is 
winter, and you have no single pot of roses, 
then I fear your darling must be buried without 
a flower, for flowers cost money in the winter. 
And then, if you cannot give a stone to mark 
his burial place, a rose may stand there, and 
from it you may, every spring, pluck a bud for 
your bosom, as the child was broken off from 
you. And, if it brings tears for the past, you 
will not see the flowers fade and come again, 
and fade and come again, year by year, and 
not learn a lesson of the resurrection — when 
that which perished here shall revive again, 
never more to droop or to die. 



THE AMERICAN CUCKOO. 

Bv Dr. Morris Gb 



Oh I cuckoo ! shall I call thee bird, 
Or but a wandering voice'.'" 



and, in fact, anything of an animal nature; in 

-Wordsworth. addition to which a vegetable diet is indulged 

In your February issue an article appeared in. This cuckoo, which is the largest of the 

on the European cuckoo {Cuculus canSrus, family, is nearly two feet long, and in its native 

Linn.) Although our foreign cousin was well haunts rarely resorts to its wings, preferring to 

defined, there were no remarks made regarding escape or pursue its prey by the use of its 



the American cuckoos, and, thinking a few 
observations would not come amiss on the 
suhject, I take the liberty of asking a part of 
your space. 

In America, by which I mean all that portion 
of territory north of the Mexican border, we 
have four well-defined species: The black- 
billed cuckoo (Cocyzus erythrophthalmus), 
the yellow-billed (C americanus), the man- 
grove cuckoo (C minor maynardi) and the 
ground cuckoo {Geococcyx californicus). The 
latter species, found only in the southwestern 
part of the Union, is known as chapparal cock 
and snake bird by the citizens of California, 



strong legs. It can run with surprising rapid- 
ity, and cannot be beaten by a horse, I am in- 
formed. It must not be imagined that it is 
swifter on foot than a horse, but it is assisted 
in its speed by its wings, much as in the man- 
ner of the ostrich when pursued. This strange 
bird has the advantage over the ostrich, as it 
may escape in impenetrable thickets when 
closely pursued. From its habit of running 
directly ahead, when chased, on a road or 
path, it has received the name of road-runner. 
The other cuckoos are better known in the 
East, where they are common and well known 
to all observers. They are about a foot in 



Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. In Mexico, length, the yellow-bill being slightly the larger 



where it is more abundant, it is called pisano 
by the natives, and to the south there are, I am 
informed, several species which never extend 
their range to the Union boundaries. The 
ground cuckoo has many peculiar habits which 
are unlike those of any other bird of America. 
In the chapparal scrub in the barren tracts it 
may be seen rapidly passing among the brush 
and cactus growth in search of its prey, which 
consists of snakes, lizards, small mammals, 



and readily distinguished by the bill, the lower 
mandible of which is yellow. In latitude 40 '- 
they appear about May 12, but occasionally not 
till much later, and quite as often earlier. The 
habits of the two species are so similar that 
they may be described together. The eggs are 
laid usually by June 15, but I have taken them 
in August, and under conditions that led me to 
think that two broods were reared. The eggs 
are elliptical in form and of a light blue color. 



112 



NATURES REALM. 



and generally have peculiar wavy markings ot 
a lighter shade, giving them an appearance 
that distinguishes them from all other American 
eggs. Three eggs are usually laid, but quite 
commonly only two, while some biologists speak 
of sets of four in a nest. The nest is a very 
shiftless structure of a few twigs, and lined 
with catkins, leaves, and sometimes grass. 
The affair is almost level on top, and it is a 
mystery how the eggs are kept on the nest. 
The eggs are often laid several days apart, thus 
differing from general custom with our birds. 
In some nests I have examined a young bird 
was found along with two eggs in various 
stages of incubation. Again, two or three 
young of different sizes were found. Still I 
have seen young of a size in a nest. 

It is generally allowed that our American 
cuckoos do not share the peculiarity of the 
European bird in laying in other birds' nests; 
however, this has been disproved in many in- 
stances where the European habit seems to 
have been introduced, more, however, as an 
exception than otherwise. One bird that we 



have, the cow-bird or cow-bunting {Molothrus 
ater), invariably lays its eggs in other birds' 
nests, leaving them to the entire care of the 
toster parents. This strange parasite was par- 
tially treated of in the January issue of Na- 
ture's Realm. It does not belong to the 
cuckoo family, but to the Icterida, and is a 
true blackbird. 

In several instances cuckoos' eggs have been 
found in the nests of other owners, but the ex- 
ceptions are comparatively few; but in cases 
where the two species of cuckoos — yellow-billed 
and black-billed — have joined issue, the num- 
ber of instances is large. It is these occur- 
rences, not rare, where there are five or six 
eggs taken from a nest, causing an amateur 
collector to think that one bird laid them all. 
By a student the eggs of the two species may 
be readily distinguished. One of our promi- 
nent ornithologists insists that in time the 
American cuckoo will have fully acquired the 
well-known habit now possessed by its Euro- 
pean, congener. 



BUZZARDS, HAWKS AND EAGLES IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. 

By J. H. Morrow. 



If one wants to be impressed with a sense of 
loneliness (did I say impressed ? — oppressed 
would be better), he should ascend a foothill of 
Southern California, and, far above the plains 
and the habitations of man, become an object 
of interest to a circling flock of buzzards. The 
fact that he is on horseback, and that his wiry 
and intelligent pony every now and then turns 
its head around with an inquiring look in its 
troubled eyes, does not affect the situation. 
The presence of those dreadful, slow-moving 
birds, wheeling so near that their wickedly 
hungry little black eyes are plainly visible, 
strikes terror to the heart. And the thought 
comes : " How quickly would these creatures 
pounce upon me were I to be prostrated by 
sudden illness in this spot, remote from human 
aid." 

Recently the writer had such an experience — 
all but the prostration — on one of the foothills 
back of Whittier, a little town a dozen miles 
from Los Angeles. The birds were to be num- 
bered by the dozens, and kept up a noiseless, 
constant flight in circles, with the rider as a 
central point, that was an interesting study. 
With the instinct of their species they seemed 
to recognize the fact that in the barrenness and 
remoteness of the spot there was chance for 
mishap and for the harvest of death which their 
nature craved. Frequently they flew so near 
that the fanning of their great wings could al- 
most be felt. But for their featherless necks 
and ugly heads they would have been objects 
to be admired, so graceful were their move- 
ments. No gulls in the Bay of San Francisco 
ever cleft the air more majestically than they. 
But as one gazed upon them the feeling was 
that of absolute repulsion, of undefined dread. 

Still more recently, on a far-reaching plain 
or mesa, the writer again came upon a flock of 
these despicable but useful birds, for as scaven- 
gers they have a use so important that by the 
laws of the State they are protected from mo- 
lestion. The spot was on the edge of a gulch 
through which ran a stream of water. Judg- 
ing from the stench which filled the air, some 
animal was lying dead in the long grass a hun- 
dred yards from the roadside. There the buz- 
zards were assembled, voraciously devouring 
their toothsome meal. As we rode up a num- 



ber of them slowly rose from the ground and 
began circling about us. One old fellow with 
especially wicked eyes lazily winged his way 
to the top of a telegraph pole just ahead and 
perched there until we had ridden by, as 
though sizing us up and reckoning the chances 
of a fresh repast. When we had passed he in- 
dulged in a parting wheel above us and then 
rejoined his companions in their discussion of 
the bill of fare by the side of the gulch. 

As a rule these buzzards of California fly 
singly. They are met with most frequently in 
uninhabited regions. Their "scent" for car- 
rion is very acute, and one scarcely makes a 
" find " before companions begin arriving from 
every point of the compass. 

In striking contrast to the buzzard is the 
hawk family. Hawks, from little fellows 
scarcely larger than pigeons to big fellows 
almost as large as eagles, are very common in 
California. But their business is with the liv- 
ing, not with the dead, and they awaken cor- 
responding respect. They are very wary ; to 
get within even shooting distance of them is 
difficult. On a ride between Puente and 
Pomona the writer came across several big 
ones, as well as many of the smaller species. 
The latter showed a bird-like fondness for 
telegraph poles and wires, though they would 
fly swiftly away as the traveler approached. 
The former were seldom at rest, but kept cir- 
cling in the distance, now and then swooping 
down in pursuit of some small animal. Their 
hooked beaks made them look formidable when 
they could be approached closely enough to be 
seen, but there was a dignity about the birds 
that excited emotions of respect utterly wanting 
in the case of the buzzard. 

Eagles are not abundant. Unless they are 
protected by statute, as they should be in every 
State, and as they are in Connecticut, they 
must soon become things of the past, or at least 
very rare in California. We saw recently in a 
glass case in a San Bernardino drug store, a 
very large and beautiful specimen of this spe- 
cies of bird. It was owned by a naturalist- 
taxidermist, and was referred to by the drug- 
gist as rare. Unless the American people are 
careful, this splendid bird will only be found in 
museums and on the "coin of the realm." 



THE AQUARIUM. 



CONDUCTED BY HUGO MULERTT. 

[The Editor of this Department will cheerfully answer all queries relative to the conduct of Aquaria. 



The Sagittaria or Arrowhead. 

In the great economy of Nature the sagittaria have contrib- 
uted their lull share to the support of the human family in all 
parts of the world. The Chinese and Japanese cultivate them 
very extensively for food, also the Tartar Kalmucks use them 
for food. Aquatic birds are fond of them, and resort to favor- 
ite spots in spring to feast upon the tubers, when the Indians 
slay the birds for their own feasts. The tubers are generally 
as large as hens' eggs, and are greatly relished when raw, but 
have a bitter, milky juice, not agreeable to civilized man ; this 
is destroyed in boiling, however, and the roots are rendered 
sweet and palatable. They are considered excellent when 
cooked with meat, either salt or fresh. To collect the roots 
the Indians wade into the water and loosen them with their 
feet, when they float up and are gathered. They are of an 
oblong shape, in color whitish yellow, banded with four black 
rings (U. S. Agr. Rept., 1870). They serve as food for the 
Indians of Washington, under the name of Wappatoo. In 
shallow ponds and muddy margins of lakes and rivers through- 
out the Northwest this plant, ' so variable in foliage and so 
abundant in distribution, furnishes an important article of na- 
tive food in the tubers which beset its fibrous roots. These 
tubers, from the fact of their affording nourishment to the 
larger aquatic fowls which congregate in such abundance about 
the Northwestern lakes, are called by the Chippewas Wab-er- 
i-pin-ig or swan potatoes, a name which has been naturally 
appropriated to several streams in that region. Wabesipinicon, 
meaning the abode of the swan potato (Owens' Survey of the 
N. W.). 

From the foregoing extracts it will be seen how universally 
they have been employed to assist in the maintenance ol the 
human family, and probably we know very little yet how ex- 
tensively they have been empjoyed in North America. 

We have collected them from a great many localities in 
Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, and find in early spring a solid, 
brittle, tuberous corm, down deep in the earth, being the germ 
from which the plant starts in spring. From the corm, at the 
first approach of warm weather, starts a large, porous root- 
stock, reaching up to near the surface of the earth, and there 
throws out innumerable fibrous roots, which is the true crown 
from which spring the leaves, flowers and stolens, and is also 
the plant centre during summer. By the 1st of June the milky 
juice (starch or saccharine, etc.' has usually been absorbed by 
the new growth of the plant, and the corm is then a soft and 
flexible, or spongy mass, reminding one of a sprouted and 
growing potato, while by the middle of July or 1st of August 
we would not find any corm, but found decayed masses which 
we were reasonably certain were the remains of the former 
corms. 

In addition to tuberous and fibrous roots, the sagittaria pre- 
sent the feature of producing stolens or long, creeping roots, 
just below the surface of the earth. They start from the stem, 
and usually from just above the fibrous roots, and creep out 
horizontally from the plant in all directions. We do not now 
recall a single genus of plants that present so manv different 



forms of developent in each plant as the sagittaria. First, the 
roots are of three entirely distinct forms, the tuberous, fibrous 
and stoleniferous. Next, the leaves are sometimes phyllodia 
(submerged and riband-like;, others are an elliptical, erect 
blade, upon a tall, round, or slightly angular stem, and lastly. 
the leaf developed into its true form — arrow-shaped. Again, 




The Sagittakia. 

let us look at the flower; the lower ones are usually tortile. 
producing seed to perpetuate its kind, while the upper ones are 
sterile and barren, or each flower stock producing flowers with 
the sexes separate and still on the same stock. 

The flowers are borne on long, leafless, branched stems, 
well above the foliage, with pure white petals and a yellow 
centre stamens 1 , usually single, but occasionally 5. sagittae- 
folia and 5. variabilis, var. lati/olia, have been found growing 
wild with double flowers. European nurserymen offer these 
varieties now for sale. 

Sagittaria nataus and 5. lanciolata soon became favorites 



NATURE'S REALM. 



"5 



of American and European aquarists. For growing in an 
aquarium we find few plants better suited, and for a fountain, 
small lake or pond, it has few equals. In their natural condi- 
tion they are found growing in soft, muddy or sandy ground, 
consequently the conditions tor a successful cultivation must be 
continued, viz.: grown in soft, loamy soil, while, if for |>ot or 
tub culture, a layer of coarse sand or small pebbles in the bot- 
tom of the tub is always desirable for all kinds of aquatic 
plants; at the same time a layer of clean, fine sand, spread 
over the top of the soil, not only looks bright and cheerful, but 
very materially assists in purifying the water. Of course the 
tropical species will not withstand our winter, but must be pro- 
tected the same as other tropical plants, but they can be al- 
lowed to remain in a neglected comer until required again for 
the lawn or show house. The S. sinensis is of very easy cul- 
ture ; it may be grown either way, in water, moss or soil. It 
treated like the Chinese narcissus — grown in a bowl ot water — 
it makes a very graceful and attractive specimen within a tvw 
weeks after it is planted. 



Two Practical Queries. 

i. How long will fish live in a quart jar used for canning 
fruit, when the top is screwed on tight '.' Jar is made of glas>. 
i. Is there any way of keeping water in a tank 24x18x12 inches 
deep, running steadily, without introducing more water? 

William F. Hyde. 

1. How long fish can live in a given quantity of water de- 
pends : 1 . ( )n the genus to which the fish belongs ; 2. on the 
size and age of the individual : 3. on the conditions under 
which the fish has been used to ve : 4. on the temperature 
and location the vessel containing the water is placd in. F01 
instance, a young shad, a young grayling or a young spoonfish 
will drown in a few minutes in a quart of water, even if the jar 
is left uncovered ; a young trout, channel catfish or a darter 
would live for several hours, although very tender in this re- 



spect it they have lived, previous to their being thus " bottled, " 
in a self-sustaining aquarium fur about a month ; while a \ 
gar, a little dogfish or a paradise fish, if the bottle would be 
only three-fourths full of water, would live until killed by want 
of food, which may be in some cases six weeks or longer, pro- 
vided, however, that no sun or artificial heat or frost affect> 
the water. 

There is a little aquarium fountain sold in Germany which 
answers this purpose. It is set in the centre of the aquarium, 
draws its supply from the aquarium and returns it. This foun- 
tain can be made, by changing the jet, to flow like a little 
stream, which in turn drives the wheel of a miniature water 
mill. The pump of the fountain is run by electricity. 



Feeding the Fish. 

Putting a whole or half sheet of prepared fish food in an 
aquarium, with the intention of giving the fish a week's 1 
at once, can be compared to placing enough fresh meat on .1 
dinner table to last for the week. It will not only lose it- 
value as food, but will also poison the water. < )ffer your fish 
food every day, and, if they don't seem to care for any, don"t 
give them any. At any rate let no food remain in the aquarium ; 
remove it at once if refused by the fish. 



Snails for Aquariums. 

The ramshorn snail PlanorHs trrv ol vi s , next to tadpoles 
we consider the best agent to remove the too much green 
in an aquarium All the Planorbis are fonder of the conferva; 
than of the larger plants, and are therefore e*.t!!t:it inhabit- 
ants for the fresh-water tank, whilst the Lymna:, most of them, 
are too dainty to eat up the troublesome, minute plants, but 
will be sure to make away with your more tender plants, such 
as anacharis, etc. 



NOTES AND QUERIES. 



[Under this Department Heading queries relative to all branches of Natural History will be answered.] 

The "Alma Perdita " Bird. 
Alex Starbuck, of Cincinnati, has recently 



presented the Cuvier Club Museum with a col- 
lection of strange and gorgeously plumaged 
birds, from the dense forests of Guatemala, 
containing only species new to the collection. 
Rich green and golden trogons, blue and olive 
motmots, flashing humming birds and crimson 
tanagers are among them. And the first spec- 
imen of the curious Playa cayena (Linn.) — a 
weird bird, belonging to the cuckoo family. 
This is a bird as large as a dove, of a rich, 
glossy, maroon color. It ranges from Central 
America to Northern Brazil, and is called by 
the natives "Alma Perdita," or the "Lost 
Soul." One of Whittier's most beautiful pieces 
is founded on a tradition of these people to the 
effect that the lonely, unearthly nocturnal cry 
of this bird is not the scream of a bird, but of 

" The pained soul of some infidel 

Or cursed heretic that cries from hell" 

This poem so interested the Emperor of 
Brazil that he translated it, very faithfully and 
poetically, into Portuguese, and sent an auto- 
graph copy to Whittier. It was also translated 
by Pedro Linz, a Brazilian poet, and published 
widely in South America. The Emperor also 
sent Mr. Whittier two fine stuffed specimens, 
which were stolen before they reached him. but 
afterward another pair were forwarded as 
skins, which were stuffed and exhibited in 
Boston, where these " Lost Souls " attracted 
much attention, and then were sent to Ames- 
bury. — Cliarles Dury. 



A Phenomenal Icicle. 

[communicated.] 

"Curious winter phenomena we have here," 
remarked the St. Paulite to the visitor from St. 
Louis. "You notice that icicle up there on 
the cornice of that eight-story building ? 
Should say it was ten feet long. Well, this 
very morning one just like that dropped as 



Sam Bones was passing, and the point struck 
him square on the top of the head. It went 
through him like a shot and pinned him to the 
sidewalk, bolt upright, as stiff as a statue." 

"Kill him?" 

" Hardly. As soon as the icicle melted he 
walked off all right enough. See ? " 

" An extraordinary escape, truly — perhaps 
an isolated case. But I should think he would 
be liable to take cold from the draught through 
the hole in his body ? " 

" Not at all ! You see, the winter climate 
here is so dry that — " 

"Bosh!" 



A Few Notes. 
There are little events happening in every 
one's life that partake of the nature of romance 
as well as novelty. And many of these little 
transpirancies (to coin a new word) are pleas- 
ant to the memory of the person, and their re- 
cital sometimes does good to others. One 
evening recently, while riding along the high- 
way with a friend, a fine flock of quail was ob- 
served in a cornfield near the road. The birds 
were quite tame, and were leisurely moving 
along over the deep furrows. One Mr. Bob 
White, who seemed extra proud of himself, 
hopped up on a high point of earth and pro- 
posed to display himself. With body highly 
erect and head proudly elevated, Bob White 
presented a truly spirited scene, and I remem- 
ber wishing I were an artist, so that I might 
have sketched the proud bird. 

It has been a much-disputed question 
whether squirrels hibernate, also if they pro- 
vide themselves nuts and other provisions to 
eat in winter time. My experience and obser- 
vations warrant me in saying that the squirrels 
do neither. The only provision they make for 
the winter months is to conceal in the earth 
various kinds of nuts, which are unearthed 
when wanted. As to their hibernating, they 



NA TURES REALM. 



ii7 



only remain housed up a day or two during 
the prevalence of a severe storm or excessive 
low temperature. Ofttimes the squirrels are 
forced to subsist upon such things as afford lit- 
tle nourishment — for instance, buds of the elm, 
hack-berries and the bark of twigs of various 
kinds of trees. The squirrel has to devote 
hours of patient labor in gaining the feast of 
oily kernels of a walnut. 

Birds and small animals are more sensitive 
to atmospheric changes than people are. Here 
on a bright warm day in December the robins 
were hopping about in the grove, and the nut- 
hatches were gliding up and down and around 
the trees in all directions, while the squirrels 
were extra lively. They all felt the coming of 
a cold wave, which arrived in good order late 
in the day. —Jasper Mines in Sports Afield. 



Globular Lightning. 

This is a rare phenomenon. The general 
description of the occurrence is, that a lumi- 
nous ball is seen moving very slowly, not touch- 
ing any object, and eventually breaking up 
with a violent explosion and the appearance of 
several flashes of ordinary lightning. It is 
reported that the occurrence described has 
lasted at least a couple of seconds. Ordinary 
lightning, as is well known, is quite practically 
instantaneous. The size of the ball on differ- 
ent occasions has varied from that of an oran«e 

D 

to that of a large glass lamp globe, or even 
larger. Many physicists refuse to believe any 
accounts of this manifestation of the electrical 
discharge, but the reports of it are too numer- 
ous and circumstantial for us to consider them 
to be baseless, says Longman's Magazine, 
which is authority for the foregoing. 



The Glaciers of Alaska. 

Soon after leaving Wrangle the first Alaskan 
glacier is seen in the distance, writes Kate 
Field, looking like a frozen river emerging 
from the home of the clouds. The sea is 
glassy, and a procession of small bergs, broken 
away from the glacier, float silently toward the 
south. It is Nature's dead march to the sun, 
to melt in its burning kisses and to be trans- 



planted into happy tears. Wild ducks fly past, 
and from his eyrie a bald-headed eagle surveys 
the scene, deeply, darkly, beautifully blue, 
apparently conscious that he is the symbol ol 
the republic. There are glaciers and glaciers. 
In Switzerland a glacier is a vast bed of dirty 
air-holed ice that has fastened itself, like a cold 
porous plaster, to the side of an alp. Distance 
alone lends enchantment to the view. In 
Alaska a glacier is a wonderful torrent that 
seems to have suddenly frozen when about to 
plunge into the sea. Down and about moun- 
tains wind these snow-clad serpents ; extending 
miles inland with as many arms, sometimes, 
as an octopus. Wonderfully picturesque is the 
Davidson Glacier, but more extended is the 
Muir Glacier, which marks the extreme 
northerly points of pleasure travel. Imagine 
a glacier three miles wide and three hundred 
feet high at its mouth. Think of Niagara 
Falls frozen stiff, add thirty-six feet to its height, 
and you have a slight idea of the terminus of 
Muir Glacier, in front of which your steamer 
anchors ; picture a background of mountains 
15,000 feet high, all snow-clad, and then 
imagine a gorgeous sun lighting up the ice 
crystals with rainbow coloring. The face of 
the glacier takes on the hue of aqua-marine, 
the hue of every bit of floating ice, big and 
little, that surrounds the steamer and makes 
navigation serious. These dazzling serpents 
move at the rate of sixty-four feet a day, tum- 
bling headlong into the sea, and as it falls the 
ear is startled by sub-marine thunder, the 
echoes of which resound far and near. Down, 
down, down goes the berg, and woe to the 
boat in its way when it again rises to the sur- 
face. 



Data for a Large Collection of Eggs. 

I have often been struck with the make-shift 
arrangements for keeping data adopted by 
those who have collections of eggs, and it has 
seemed to me that a description of the manner 
in which those of the "J. P. N." collection are 
kept might be interesting. 

At the present time this collection contains 
nearly 4,500 sets, and each set has a separate 
data. It was necessary- to devise some plan by 



i iS 



NA TURE'S REALM. 



which any one of those 4,500 data could be 
readily found and consulted, and, after much 
reflection and many experiments, the one de- 
scribed below was adopted. 

On receiving a set of eggs the original data 
is copied on a small printed blank measuring 
1.84X.87 inches. This has the words "No." 
for number of species), "Date," "Collector," 
" Locality," "Set Mark," "Incubation," "No. 
in Set" and "Identity" printed on the upper 
side, with blank spaces left for filling in these 
particulars, while on the back are written the 
name of the species and details as to the nest. 
It has been found that this little blank affords 
ample space for making an exact copy of all 
the information given on ninety-nine data out 
of every hundred, and, by making the writing 
small, it can all be placed on it. This size was 
adopted to allow the blank to be placed in the 
smallest-sized pasteboard trav used in the col- 
lection. 

It having been properly filled out and com- 
pared with the original data, the blank is then 
put in the bottom of the pasteboard tray or 
box selected to hold the set of eggs, underneath 
the strip of flat cotton used for its lining. 

Some one will ask: "Why ta«e all this 
trouble ? " It is done to prevent any possible 
confusion of sets. Where a collection contains 
many series numbering over a hundred sets of 
one species, it is almost impossible to prevent 
the duplication of set marks, and this might 
lead to confusion ; but, where a copy of the 
data is kept in the same tray with the eggs, it 
is impossible. 

The original data are kept in wooden boxes, 
each of which measures twelve inches in 
length, eight and a half inches in width and 
four and a half inches in height. These are 
outside measurements. The boxes are made 
out of wood that is three-eighths of an inch 
thick, and are therefore somewhat smaller in- 
side. They each have a lid with hinges. 

The data are placed in them in an upright 
position— in fact, in just the same manner that 
the cards are arranged in drawers in the " card 
catalogue " of a library. This admits of their 
being easily run over until the desired one is 
found, when it can be readily taken out and 
examined. 



All of the same species are kept together, 
and they are arranged according to the Ridg- 
way nomenclature, as the eggs in this collec- 
tion have never been rearranged in compliance 
with the A. O. U. numbers. (Life is too short 
to do that.) Thus all the data for sets of the 
wood thrush come first in box No. 1 ; then* fol- 
low those of Wilson's thrush, and so on in reg- 
ular numerical order. 

All of the data for the wood thrush are ar- 
ranged according to the numerical sequence 
of their set marks, thus: 1 4, 2-3, 3-4, 4-4, y$, 
etc. Occasionally a data will occur where the 
collector has been foolish enough to use letters 
instead of numbers, and these are kept in 
alphabetical order at the end of those having 
numbers for set marks, thus: a-4, b-3, c-4, etc. 

To still further facilitate the finding of any 
particular species, tin strips, cut just the width 
and height of the boxes, are inserted between 
the data at every fifty numbers. Thus there is 
one between 50 and 51, another between 100 
and 101, etc. 

I claim for this method: (1) The impossi- 
bility of confusion arising Irom the mixing of 
sets; (2) convenience of reference, as a single 
data, or all of one species, can be quickly found 
and taken out of the box for consultation ; (3) 
the preservation of the data in perfect condition 
without folding, as the box is wide enough to 
hold the largest, and, if the data be on an ab- 
surdly small piece of paper (as some are), it 
can be either pinned or pasted on a larger 
piece and put among its brethren which are of 
the proper size ; (4) economy of space, as I keep 
nearly 4,500 data in three boxes of the size de- 
scribed above, and have plenty of room to 
spare. — "J. P. N." in the Ornithologist. 



The Turkey Buzzard. 
The turkey vulture is deserving of our great- 
est praise and protection, for no other bird ren- 
ders such valuable and immediate service as 
does the buzzard, writes C. E. Please in the 
Collectors' Monthly. Other birds destroy in- 
sects which may injure our crops, they also de- 
stroy those which do no harm as well as those 
which are a benefit to us, besides charging 
" toll " from the crop itself. We can live with- 
out gay plumage, we can live without their 



NATURES REALM. 



"9 



song, but when we come to consider health as 
a factor of our existence we must not fail to 
vote the vulture as our most valuable bird. 
The turkey vulture is more attentive to its du- 
ties than the other species, but its great num- 
bers, vast region of extent and its seeming fear- 
lessness enable it to secure the greater portion 
of food, and not even the dead rat in the barn- 
yard is allowed to escape notice. Its God- 
given powers enable it 10 subsist upon that 
which is not only noxious to our external 
senses, but is poison and disease to our sys- 
tems. 

Endowed with the keenest scent and the 
sharpest eye, the buzzard is ever ready and 
anxious to remove the decaying carcasses from 
the fields. 

We cannot comprehend their value to us, 
but we do know that theirs is a welcome mis- 
sion, which promotes our better health, and 
health means wealth and happiness. 

The buzzard it the most widely distributed 
of any of the lamily, and perhaps also the 
most numerous of any of our birds. Its range 
extends over the whole of the United States, 
Southern Canada, Mexico, Central America 
and the greater part of South America. It is 
most abundant in the warmer portion of the 
continent — the farther south one goes the 
greater the need — and there they are found 
soaring by hundreds, in company with their 
near relatives, the black vulture, or carrion 
crow. The two are often mistaken for each 
other, though a second look is sufficient to de- 
termine their difference. The buzzard is of a 
dirty brown color, with long, bent wings and 
divergent quills at the ends, and takes two or 
three long sweeping strokes of the wings, while 
the carrion crow is black, has short, straight, 
round-ended wings and flies heavily, making 
about six short, quick strokes in rapid succes- 
sion, and repeated often, whereas the buzzard 
may sail for hours with perhaps only now and 
then a single wave of the wings. When seen 
closer the buzzard has a red head and a neck 
similar to a common turkey's, hence the name. 

When anywhere but in the sky overhead the 
buzzard seems to be out of his realm, away 
from home. He is awkward, clumsy, filthy 
and unsightly. Hut let him stretch his power- 



ful wings out over the fields and he at once be- 
comes the most graceful bird of the air, sailing 
and rocking, as it were, on the billows of the 
sky. Other birds (such as the hawks), feeling 
a sense of pride, mount into the heavens to try 
their skill at soaring, but fall far short of the 
buzzard's standard of excellence, and presently 
drop into the forests below. 

The very nature of the buzzard's occupation, 
or manner of subsistence, often requires him to 
go hungry (for he is loath to kill), and, conse- 
quent.)-, when he does find food, gorges him- 
self until unable to fly. If disturbed he will 
disgorge his meal to make safe his escape, i 
have no authentic record of one ever attacking 
a live animal, though they sometimes hover 
over a dying beast until life is extinct rather 
than eat the flesh of a living being. 

Like other American vultures he has no 
voice, but only hisses like a goose or setting 
turkey. 

The muscles of the wings, like those ol most 
other sailing birds, are so arranged that when 
the wings are spread it requires no effort on 
the part of the bird to keep them thus, and it 
can soar all day without tiring. Its extreme 
lightness also aids much to easy flight, its body- 
being even smaller than that of the carrion 
crow. 

It often breeds in communities, but more 
commonly in pairs, selecting as a building site 
some rocky cliff, hollow log or stump, a cavity 
in a tree, a cave or even the bare ground. In 
trees the eggs are deposited on the bottom, 
even if it be hollow clear to the ground. Con- 
siderable noise is occasioned in going in and 
out by the wings raking against the sides of the 
tree, and is sometimes heard for nearly half a 
mile. For three seasons I have visited what is 
known here as " Buzzards' Cave," in hopes of 
securing a set of eggs of a pair that usually 
breed there. I finally concluded that they 
knew my errand, and quit going so regularly. 
One day as I strolled by I saw two full-fledged 
young sitting in the entrance sunning. On my 
appearance they turned and scampered to its 
remotest ends and tucked their heads in crev- 
ices of the rocks. This year I was rewarded 
for my patience by a handsomely marked set 
of two eggs, which further testify to the theory 



120 



NATURE'S REALM. 



that the eggs are laid in pairs that will hatch 
male and female ; that the two are not the 
same general shape or of the same general 
markings. One is a " rooster egg," not laid by 
the rooster, but will hatch out to be one, and 
is longer than the other, and has a predomi- 
nance of the dark brown markings, aggregated 
near the larger end ; while the "hen egg' is 
shorter, more pointed, has fewer brown 
blotches and more of the concealed or lilac 
color, and more evenly distributed over the 
whole egg. 

Now I will not vouch for the truth in this 
part of my letter, but it is my candid opinion, 
and as far as my experience goes the rule holds 
good. I would be glad to hear from other ob- 
servers on this point. 



The young of the buzzard, and also the 
" squabs" of the carrion crow, are pure white 
in the down, not a dingy yellow, but as clean 
looking as the driven snow. It is interesting 
to watch them as they grow, and the black 
quills appearing one by one in rows, till the 
beautiful down has disappeared and our squab 
is a ragged, dingy buzzard. It is several 
months before the young leave the nest. They 
are loath to be intruded upon, and emit the 
already decayed carrion in self-defense, and to 
the disgust of the intruders. 

Two eggs generally constitute a clutch, and 
are too well described in books to need men- 
tion here. 

Wood's Natural History gives a very good 
description of this bird. 



Birds that can sing and won't sing can be made to sing with 

ShepparcTs Song Restorer, or a Treat 

Also an Invigorating- Tonic for Canary Birds, Goldfinches, Linnets and all Seed Birds. 

This preparation will in every case restore to their natural notes birds who have lost their song from the effects of cold or ex- 
cessive moulting. For breeding Birds and their young, and old Birds, it is invaluable, strengthening their voice and improving 
their plumage. 

Price 25c. a Bottle. For sale by Drag-gists, Bird Fanciers, etc. 
Prepared only by 



f. e. McAllister 



Manufacturer of Prepared Bird Food, 



STOP THAT 
CHRONIC COUGH NOW! '"The Kn^Ck" 



For if you do not it may become consumptive. For Consump- 
tion, Scrofula, General Debility and Wastiug Diseases, there is 
nothing like 

SCOTT'S 
EMULSION 



Of Pure Cod Liver Oil and Hypophosphites of 
Lime and Soda.' 



It is almost as palatable as milk. Far better than other so- 
called Emulsions. A wonderful flesh producer. 



Scott's Emulsion. 



is our latest camera. Its name 
is fortunate. There's knack in 
making a first rate camera that 
can be sold for Si 5. There's 
knack in taking a picture with 
any kind of a camera, so that 
in supplying the camera and 
the knack at the same time, 
you ought to make a good pic- 
ture. To be sure you get the 
Knack send to the Scovill & 
Adams Co., 423 Broome St.. 
N. Y., for descriptive circular. 



There are poor imitations. 



Get the Genuine. 



HUGO MULERTT, 

Zmpoxter. lEscporter, Bresd-ex a,n.d. I^Laaa-VLfa-ctiircr 



HIGH GRADE AQUARIUM SUPPLIES, 

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212 BAJTDFOBS ST. near QeKalb Ave. no store .... BROOKLYN, V. T. 



Vol. II.. No. 4. 



APRIL, 1891. 

[Entered as second-class matter in the New York 1'ost Office. 



Price 21 Cents 




CONTENTS 
I n the April Woods '. Samuel C McClure 

Some Opinions on the Bite of the " Gila Monster." 

R. W. Shu/eldt. C M. Z. S. etc. 

The Fisher J. W. Muller 

The Nesting Habits of the Woodcock Dr. Morris Cibbs 

The Gopher and His Trapper Linnaeus: Roberts 

The European I.and-rail or Corn-crake T. 0. Russell 

A Springtime Song Albert Bigelow Paine 

Professor Joe — A Story of the Sioux Samuel Parker 

Among the Moths and Butterflies '. Julia P. Rallard 

My Set of Great Horned Owl F.pgs A C. Kent 

Sealskins and Seal Fisheries 

Nesting and Birth of Birds Francis A Knight 

Notes from Montana Charles Hallnek 

The Aquarium Conducted bv Hugo Mulertt 

Bird Songs and Vernal Sounds Isaac McLe/tan 



NOTF.S AND '.I 1 



Tenacity of Life in Animals. 
N.-M building Fish's 
The Kihi— Maori Skulls. 
A l.arge Sunfish. 
Coqnjna Rock. 

Fish Breeding in the Clouds. 



The Flight of Bints 

Showers of Fi«h. 

How Snakes Swallow Fish 

Cats Affected bj Feeding on 

Scallops, 
Head Alewhes in Lake Ontario 



The Man. it r Sea-co« 



PUBI.ISHKI' I ' 



THE HARRIS PUBLISHING CO. 

io VAffin si , \ 1 v York 

J KI.INK F.MMKT. JR.. I'rest. II. R HARRIS. Ser'y and Trea» 



NATURE'S REALM. 



Vol. ii. 



APRIL, 1891. 



NO. 4. 



IX THE APRIL WOODS. 
Bv Samuel ('.. McCujrb. 



To most persons the woods are much less 
attractive in April than later in the spring or 
•early in the summer. The ground is damp 
and the chill of winter yet lingers in the wind. 
The charm of foliage and flower that glorifies 
June is lacking, and it is yet too early for all 
those delicate shadings of color in the young 
leaves, those varying tints of green and pink 
that in a few weeks will freshen and beautify 
the now bare branches. The casual rambler 
misses the play of light and shadow through 
•the summer leaves, and is apt to think the 
woods almost as deserted and cheerless as in 
January. 

But to one who knows some of the secrets of 
these early days there is entertainment and 
ipleasure of a rare kind in the April woods. 
The sharp wind may chill and yet seem only a 
sauce to give relish to the pleasures of a ramble. 
The student of Nature finds abundant compen- 
sation for all discomforts in the surprises that 
meet him, in the suggestions that come from 
every bud and half-blown blossom. On every 
side are beginnings and growth, and in watch- 
ing them is a delight as keen as any a ramble 
later in the season can give. The unfolding of 
the leaf bud of any common shrub has in it a 
mystery deep as life itself, and may well sug- 
gest "thoughts that do often lie too deep for 
tears." The faint buzz of the bees in the 
maple tops that may be heard early in the 
month, or more commonly in March, and the 
whisperings of the budding branches in the 
-spring wind, seemingly in a gentler and more 
confiding tone than when stirred by the sharper 
airs of winter, is a music as acceptable as any 
that ever rises from "God's first temples." By 



an upland brook or spring may be found the 
pussy willows shaking their full-blown, yellow- 
ish catkins in the wind, and the true lover ol 
the woods will not fail to gather a handful of 
them and browse over them and revel in the 
subtle, woodsy fragrance that adds so greatly 
to their charm. 

Everywhere leaf buds are bursting and tiny 
shoots, so delicately green, are pushing forth. 
The scales that bound them in and protected 
them have been pushed aside and are becoming 
dry and dead. Their work is done. Presently 
they will be loosening in the wind and sifting 
down on the dead leaves, falling into nothing- 
ness with last year's foliage. Even in spring 
the story of Nature's completeness, as well as 
her inexorable law of progress and the survival 
of the useful, finds expression in her acts, and 
is repeated in some form day alter day. What 
a study the simple unfolding of a bunch of 
leaves is ? Pluck a twig from the maple or elm 
or beech, and note the tufty beauty of the early 
shoots, the difference between their manners of 
opening, and the wondrous way in which all 
the form and fashion of those leaves were 
packed in that one swelling leaf bud only a 
week ago ! Of all the many mysteries about 
us few are greater than the germination of a 
bud in spring time. What forces unite to push 
forth the leaf and fashion the flower ? Whence 
comes the vital principle that controls it all ? 
What unfathomed secrets of life are hidden in 
the shaggy tree trunks by which one takes on 
the foliage of an elm and the other of an oak- 
each spring ? Unanswered questions deep as 
life ! 

The young elm leaves show the serratio 



122 



NATURES REALM. 



and roughness even now, and the edgings of 
the beech leaves are delicate in their newness. 
The promise of harshness is already plainly 
written on the elm leaves, like elements of 
character easily read in a child, and maturity 
will presently give them the rasping stiffness of 
midsummer. The end leaves are mere coils of 
green, so tender that they cannot be untwisted 
without injury, yet in a few days at most 
Mother Nature's touch will have unwound them 
easily and naturally. 

Notwithstanding chilly 7 winds and drifting 
clouds and frequent dashes of rain, Nature is 
unusually busy these days, though less seems 
to be accomplished than in a like time later in 
the spring. But that more rapid development 
is made possible only 7 by the preparation now. 
The month is one of beginnings and promise, 
and nowhere will one feel this more than in a 
walk through the woods. Here, there and 
everywhere the tender green is peeping forth 
from under dead leaves as well as from branches 
erstwhile bare. As one notes the activity of 
each tree and herb, he almost imagines he 
hears a bustle of preparation, and the hurry 
and excitement of those anxious first attempts; 
but, save now 7 and then the snap of a bursting 
bud, so low that one must needs have sharp 
ears indeed to hear it, the plants and trees 
seem to do their work in silence. However, it 
is doubtless only seeming. Were our ears 
sharper and our sense of sound more delicate, 
we might hear a hundred sounds of busy life 
and bustling rivalry in these April woods that 
now fall unnoticed on the air. 

Nature is always full of surprises, but rarely 
more so than on an April day. One goes ex- 
pecting much in an indefinite way, and he is to 
be pitied who is so unfortunate as to find less 
than he expected. Usually it is quite the re- 
verse. Surprises crowd in at every step. Even 
the old rambler, familiar with Nature's ways 
and habits, will meet unexpected things at 
every turn, and if the occasional visitor to the 
woods does not, it is usually because his 
powers of observation are not sufficiently de- 
veloped, for one must watch closely if he would 
see half the subtle workings of Nature in the 
April woods. What genuine pleasure there is 
in an unexpected find ! Perhaps it may be 



only a bunch of wild phlox a week earlier than- 
ks sisters and cousins and slightly pale under 
the gray skies but as sweetly fragrant as ever, 
or a new phase of activity hitherto unnoticed, 
or some little puzzle worked out in wondrous 
simple fashion right before his eyes. A peep 
under the dead leaves is never unrewarded. 
Beneath that moist, warm coverlet, charming 
transformations are always going on. A 
winged maple seed has found a lodgment 
there, and with wings still strong but useless, 
has put out rootlets and started a single sprout 
upward. Or some crisp white stem of a mis- 
guided trillium will be found lifting the leaves 
by main force in its struggle to reach the light. 
Where the bed of leaves is thinner flower buds 
are starting that in a month, or possibly in a 
few days, for hours often work wonders with 
spring flowers, will begin to open and make 
the joy of Nature complete in full bloom. 

The spring beauty (Claytonia Virginia*}, 
with its pink and white, is lighting up the 
rooty 7 banks and grassy plots everywhere. It 
is always a surprise to me that this flower 
should so greatly exceed all others in number 
in the early spring time. For days, sometimes 
for weeks, in the localities with which I am 
most familiar (Ohio), it is almost without rivals. 
What talisman does it possess that enables it 
to so outnumber and outshine all others in 
these April woods ? Doubtless the small, deep 
tuber from which it springs, in part explains its 
abundance, but why it should be more common 
than toothwort [Dentaria laciniatd), hepatica 
(H. triloba), early crowfoot {Ranunculus fas- 
ciculus) or marsh marigold (Caltha palustris), 
all of which have root stocks, is hard to dis- 
cover. Hepatica is the only one of those 
named that approaches rivalry, and it only in 
choice localities. Later the many varieties 
of violet equal it in abundance, but, as they 
outnumber it in species ten to one, they ought 
to do so. In the April woods, however, it is 
only in forward seasons that the spring beauty 
does not exceed all other flowers in number. 
Its very abundance makes it less esteemed, it 
seems to me, though its pink cheer adds a 
brightness to the landscane that greatly en- 
hances the beauty of the woods in these gray 
and brooding days. 



NATURE'S REALM. 



123 



It is still early for violets, though the leaf 
pads pave many a forest corner, and by the 
middle of the month the short-stemmed yellow 
ones, with their purplish eye so suggestive of 
the pansy and possibly its original type, are to 
be found in abundance in many localities. By 
May the blue ones will be blooming in all their 
purple beauty on every hill and in every valley. 
Few flowers are so universally popular as the 
violet, and fewer still have so long held the 
admiration and love of men. It is as common 
in Europe as here, and so popular that in 
France it became the flower of the Napoleons. 
Even in the early days of (.reek mythology, 
2,500 years and more ago, it was a favorite 
with gods and men. Violets were created by 
Zeus for Io, it was said, and they formed the 
couch of Zeus and Hera. Truly we have royal 
precedent for lolling in the violet beds on a 
May day ! Unlike the spring beauty, the 
abundance of violets in May seems to make 
them dearer to us. Every one knows the 
modest and beautiful blossom, and to every one, 
from the country boy who busies himself in the 
sacrilegious sport of seeing which "Johnny- 
jump-up" will jerk the heads off the largest 
number of others, to the city belle who dream- 
ily bends over a vase of the purple blossoms 
and thinks of the triumphs of her last partv, it 
is a prime favorite. Other wild flowers of 
spring time are beautiful and win ardent ad- 
mirers, but none generally found the country 
over possesses all the elements of permanent 
popularity to so full a degree as the 

" Violets dim, 
Yet sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes 
Or Cytherea's breath." 

The wood anemone is another blossom ot 
these April woods that charms all who know 
it. The much admired hepatica is its own sis- 
ter, though the anemone is the frailer of the 
two. It is unrivalled among spring flowers in 
the delicacy of its shadings of color. It seems 
to have caught those rare first blushings in 
pinks and purples that make the early dawn of 
a bright spring morning an inexpressible paint- 
er's dream. Such a dawn is glorv by sug- 
gestion, and the wind-flower seems to have 
awakened just in time to catch and ti\ those 
rich and delicate tints and assume its own 



loveliness, while suggesting in tin- variety of 
color the bursts of summer bloom. Its 
blossoms, which the old legend poetically but 
untruthfully declares are only opened by the 
wind, hence its name, vary in color even more 
than tin- spring beauty. In a cloudy spring the 
tints are darker, while in a period of sunshiny 
davs they become brighter and more brilliant. 
They range from almost pure white to rich, 
delicate purple, and always with a delicacy ot 
shading and a harmony of color that is a de- 
light. In May there will be many of them, and 
we can gather the frail blossoms that seem to 
shrink from the touch and wither so soon, and 
admire them to the full, for none of the later 
(lowers surpass them in beauty ; but never is 
its charm so great as in that happy hour when 
one comes half unexpectedly upon the first ane- 
mone of the season. Then is it loveliest. Cap- 
ping its hairy stem in simple modesty, its beau- 
ties often withheld from even the watchful eyes- 
of its admirer, the wanderer in the April woods 
will be abundantly repaid if he find but one of 
these frail blossoms purple-tinted by the unri- 
valled pencil of Nature, or blushing pink and 1 
white in confusion at the touch of even an ad- 
miring friend. 

Then there is the dandelion. Who does not 
welcome it as it blooms in the open glade ? 
And the white blossom of the blood-root ( San- 
guinaria canadensis), and the glory of wake- 
robin, the white trillium, that opens its single 
blossom to the sky so confidingly and seems 
gazing upward watching perchance for the 
northward Might of the later migratory birds. 
The trillium comes like a promise of peace, and 
when, as sometimes happens, the season is for- 
ward enough, makes one ot tin- loveliest of 
F.aster (lowers. Then there is the low stalk of 
the early crowfoot (Ranunculus fascicu- 
lar is J with its bright yellow flowers gladden- 
ing the rocky hillsides, and perhaps not far 
from it may be found the small white blossoms, 
of the saxifrage fS. virginiensis ) ri.sin<r on 
their clustered cyme five inches or more above 
the pad of thickish leaves and breathing out 
their faint sweetish fragrance. Down in the 
rich soil by the little brook are blooming the 
[tale purple, or sometimes whitish, (lowers of 
the toothwort (Dentaria laciniata), the clus- 



124 



NATURES REALM. 



tered flowers suggesting St. Andrew's cross in 
shape, and if the rambler will take the trouble 
to dig an inch or two into the moist soil below 
them he will find a group of little tubers whose 
pleasant taste touches his tongue with the pun- 
gent joy of spring. In the swampy place near 
iby are the broad leaves of the marsh marigold 
( Caltha palustris), often incorrectly called 
»the cowslip, and above the heart-shaped shields 
rise the golden flowers. 

In a sheltered open where the wind does not 
reach and the sunshine falls in a fitful burst, 
the rambler can pause and listen. Far away, 



high among the bare branches of a knot of 
oaks, a pair of crows are cawing, laying plans 
doubtless for the summer. In a cluster of 
beeches a squad of blue jays are mustering 
noisily. From some nearer sunny nook close 
by its nesting place come the sweetest notes of 
spring, the bluebird's song. The cheery tones 
of the robin ring out not tar away, and with 
that most beloved of our bird songs, memory 
draws again the pictures of cherry trees snowy 
with blossom and a peach orchard pink with 
bloom, and there comes a flood of associations 
clustering around a boyhood country home. 



SOME OPINIONS ON THE BITE OF THE ' 

Ev R. W. Shufbldt, 

While residing in New Mexico a few years 
ago the writer paid some considerable attention 
to the life-history and structure of that biggest 
of all our lizards, the "Gila monster," more 
properly referred to as the Hcloderma. For 
a year or two at a time I had them alive in my 
keeping and under my daily observation, and I 




GILA MONSTER" [Heloderma suspectum). 

C. M. Z. 8., Etc. 

case it is believed that the figures here pre- 
sented will meet with acceptance in many 
quarters. They are faithful reproductions of 
photographs made by the author from living 
specimens once in his own possession. The 
life-size left lateral view of the head is from a 
female, taken as she lay in an hypnotized state 



■M 










<-^ ,r-\iC*;f 



-*■ vr>r?W^ * 







i* 




Fu;. i. — Left Lateral Vibw of thb Head of a Heloderma — Life Si/k. 



once had a large one that possessed a length of 
41.3 cms., and a smaller one of rather more 
than half that size. They have occasionally 
been taken nearly 51 cms., or about twenty 
inches long. To the general reader the colora- 
tion and form of this remarkable lizard is as yet 
but imperfectly known, especially in the far 
eastern sections of our country, where it still 
remains one of the scarcer acquisitions to the 
larger zoological gardens. This being the 



over a roughish piece of pine bark ; the two 
others, shown in the second cut, were photo- 
graphed as they lay basking out in the sun in 
the rear courtyard of my quarters in New 
Mexico. The larger one of these latter two is 
the same from which the figure of the above 
head was taken. Helodermas have atubercu- 
lated armor of black and orange scales, bril- 
liant and shiny, that vary both in size and form 
for different parts of the body. On the head 



[26 



NATURES REALM. 



and elsewhere these often ossify in adult speci- 
mens, thus enhancing their purpose as a means 
of defense. 

But to come strictly within our title it is my 
only object here to briefly remark upon some 
of the opinions entertained in reference to the 
bite of this lizard. Now there are a great 
many people in Arizona, where Heloderma sus- 
fiectum is found, and still more in Old Mexico, 
where its congener, H. horridum, ranges, that 
believe that the very breath of one of these 
reptiles breathed in a person's face may prove 
to be poisonous, and as regards the bite there 
is but one opinion among this class of folk, and 
that is that it is almost invariably fatal. No 
less a well-known naturalist than Sinnichrast 
gives instances, citing the reports of Mexicans, 
where fowls and small mammals bitten by a 
Heloderma have died within a few hours ; but 
his own experiments did not confirm them. 
While in London Sir John Lubbock, a most 
careful observer and naturalist, declares that he 
saw a frog die in a few moments from the bite 
of a lizard of this species which had been sent 
to him. A number ol years ago the present 
writer was bitten by a large and infuriated 
Heloderma, but aside from some serious and 
painful symptoms at the time, and a swelling of 
the hand bitten, no permanent effects remained. 
Thus the bite and the results following- the 
same came gradually under the investigation 
of science. In 1883 two distinguished physic- 
ians, Mitchell and Reichert, of Philadelphia, 
published an admirable report upon the sub- 
ject, and declared, from a careful series ol ex- 
periments they had made with the saliva of 
living Helodermas, that there was no doubt 
whatever of its highly venomous nature, and 
the dictum of those so authoritative in such 
matters carried great weight everywhere. 

The tide of opinion changed somewhat, how- 
ever, when three years later Ur. H. C. Yarrow 
made some very excellent experiments at the 
Smithsonian Institution, and published his re- 
sults in Forest and Stream (New York, June 
14, 1888). His researches practically went to 
prove that in the case of chickens and rabbits, 
at least, the saliva absorbed copiously by them 
from the bite of an angry Heloderma was 
harmless. Still later, Professor Samuel Gar- 



man, of Harvard University, published it as his 
opinion that " in regard to the nature of the 
vemon and fatality of the bite (of a Heloderma) 
there is little to offer that is new. The results 
of the experiments suggest danger for small 
animals but little or none for larger ones. 
Large angle worms and insects seemed to die 
much more quickly when bitten than when cut 
to pieces with the scissors." Thus the matter 
seems to stand at the present time — perhaps 
the vast majority ot physicians who followed 
Doctors Mitchell and Reichert in their experi- 
ments fully believe to-day that the bite of a 
" Gila monster " will very often prove fatal even 
in the case of man ; while, on the other hand, 
naturalists almost universally believe that the 
saliva of this saurian is hardly at all venomous, 
and then only under certain conditions. The 
subject will repay fuller investigation and re- 
search. There are also several questions to 
be carefully taken into consideration in future 
experiments and observations. In the first 
place, in the case of man, the condition of the 
victim at the time of the bite must be carefully 
recorded, and then one must be sure afterward 
that the patient, in the event of death, was not 
destroyed by the remedies given to offset the. 
effects of the bite. As, for instance, a quart o 
whiskey or other strong alcoholic liquor will 
often, of itself, kill a man outright. Again, 
when" a Heloderma bites a pigeon, a chicken, 
rabbit or cat t does it invariably inject the 
wound with the supposed-to-be poisonous 
saliva ? In connection with this it must be re- 
membered that this reptile often in nature 
catches and eats small mammals and birds, and 
it is just possible that he kills them by the wound 
inflicted by the bite alone, and injects nothing 
thereinto. This may be the case in some ot 
the animals he has bitten in the hands of ex- 
perimenters. A reptile may have sufficient 
control over a poison gland situated beneath 
its jaws as not to call its secretion into use 
every time he bites. He may possess an in- 
nocuous buccal secretion in addition to the 
poisonous secretion of the submaxillary gland. 
In view of this possibility, it is an open ques- 
tion, owing to the different methods employed 
to obtain it, whether Doctors Mitchell and 
Reichert and Doctor Yarrow obtained the 



c 



5» 

o". 



X 



2 

c 
a 
> 




128 



NAILKE'S REALM. 



same kind of saliva ; and it must be noted 
that the various steps in their experiments were 
essentially very different indeed. In the case 
of Sir John Lubbock's frog, it is also possible 
that the tooth or teeth of the Heloderma may 
have punctured one of the large arteries, a 
thing quite possible in the case of a small frog, 
but rather improbable in the case of a cat or 
even a chicken. Indeed, it must be very evi- 
dent that there are yet to be made many ex- 
periments in this extremely interesting field 
before the exact facts can be known in the 
premises. 

[In connection with the above interesting 
paper we append observations on the "Gila 
monster" made by Dr. R. W. Shufeldt, and 
published in the Proceedings of Zoological So- 
ciety, of London, April i, 1890. It is to be re- 
gretted that no exhaustive notes exist as to the 
life history of the Heloderma. The subject is, 
however, attracting much attention among 
naturalists, and a full biological history of the 
animal will doubtless follow at an early date. 
—ED.] 

During the summer of 1887 the present 
writer came into possession of two very fine 
living specimens of Heloderma suspectum that 
had been obtained for him in Southern Arizona, 
in that section of the United States zoogeogra- 
phically known as the Sonoran Region, and 
where the natural habitat of this, by far the 
largest of all of our North American lizards, is 
located. " 

Never having been so fortunate as to have 
enjoyed the opportunity of studying the habits 
and life of the Heloderma in its native haunts, 
I can add nothing here to the accounts of 
others already published ; nor am I familiar 
with the mode of reproduction in this interest- 
ing species of lizard, though I have heard it 
stated, by good observers, that it is an ovipa- 
rous reptile. The two living specimens above 
referred to were separately packed each in a 
small box, and in coming to me arrived in ex- 
cellent condition, after making a journey of 
several hundred miles, lasting six or eight 
days, and each lizard consuming only on the 
day ot starting part of a boiled egg. Upon be- 
ing removed from their boxes they drank freely 
of water, and afterward each ate the best part 



of a hard-boiled hen's egg. Both of these acts,, 
however, were performed with marked deliber- 
ation, so much so that one would little have 
suspected that the creatures were in any way 
particularly hungry. In eating they employ 
their broad, black, forked tongue to a consid- 
erable extent, protruding the organ slowly from 
the mouth, spreading it out, and licking the 
morsel well before it is taken into the mouth 
and swallowed. They may also, in drinking, 
occasionally be seen to lap the fluid with this 
organ, and still in a more or less deliberate 
manner. These two specimens have already 
been several months in my keeping and under 
my daily observation, during which time they 
have not eaten half a dozen hen's eggs between 
them, sometimes taking them hard-boiled, but 
as a rule seeming to prefer them raw ; they 
have refused all other nutriment which has 
been placed before them. 

I have shown elsewhere that another Ameri- 
can lizard, Phrynosoma, is capable of enduring 
an absolute fast for a period of three months or 
more Science, vol. vi. no. 135, September 4, 
1885, pp. 185-186) ; and it is a well-4taown fact 
that other reptiles can do likewise: Moreover 
I am quite sure, from what I havo-seen, that a 
good healthy adult Heloderma/ would prove to- 
be another representative in this category, ca- 
pable of sustaining a prolonged period without 
taking any nutriment whatever into its system. 

When one of these reptiles is placed on the 
open ground and left to itself it soon takes it- 
self off, and notwithstanding its rather awk- 
ward mode of progression makes withal very 
good time. Head, body and tail are all kept 
in contact with the ground, while the alternate 
fore and hind limbs are thrown forward as the 
animal takes its rather ample steps and keeps 
its way along, with no other apparent motive 
in its mind beyond making good its escape. In 
walking thus it constantly protrudes, and again 
whips back into its mouth its great black 
tongue, evidently to some degree using the or- 
gan as a detector of anything that may possibly 
stand in the road to impede its progress. 

If you now suddenly check it, the animal 
quickly rears its body from the ground by 
straightening out its limbs, wheels about, opens, 
its mouth widely, snaps its tongue in and out,. 



NA Tl 'RES REALM. 



129/ 



and gives vent to a threatening blowing sound. 
The whole aspect of the reptile, taking its great 
size into consideration, is now quite sufficient 
to keep the best of us at bay at first, and the 
moment it is let alone it takes the opportunity 
to make off again, usually in another direction. 

My two specimens seem to be quite attached 
to each other, and are never so well satisfied as 
when curled up together in a sunny corner of 
their cage ; I am unable from their external 
characters to determine their sex, and this will 
only be possible later on, when we come to ex- 
amine into their structure. 

These lizards are, too, very fond ot basking 
in the hottest ot noonday suns, and I have sat- 
isfied myself that upon these and other occa- 
sions, when I have closely watched them, they ' 
possess to a certain extent chameleonic powers, 
for I have observed the orange part of their 
scaly armor pass from that color to a decided 
salmon tint and viceversa, remaining normally, 
however, at some shade of orange or yellow. 
When thus sunning themselves they have a 
habit of stretching their limbs backward, even 
to the extent of having the feet with their dor- 



sal aspects in contact with the ground, the 
palms and soles being directed upward. 
They will then close their eyes and lay in this 
position for hours at a time. So far as their 
physical strength is concerned, it seems to be 
about equal to that of young alligators of a 
corresponding size ; they do not, however, pos- 
sess the power of striking a blow with the tail, 
enjoyed by the latter reptile. And in getting 
over rough ground, where branches, large 
stones, or other obstacles stand in the way, 
Heloderms evince no little patience, ingenuity, 
and downright obstinacy in overcoming such 
barriers to their progress. By a series ol sim- 
ple experiments I have been enabled to satisfy 
myself that the senses of sight, smell and hear- 
ing are all quite acute in these reptiles, and 
they are also sensitive to the sense ot touch. 
As to their general intelligence, however, or 
such mental attributes as they may be pos- 
sessed of, I have made no special investigations, 
but from my casual observations I am inclined 
to believe that they stand rather above the 
average reptile in both of these respects. 



THE FISHER. 

By J. W. Miller. 

"With gentle feet and peaceful heart 

He goeth by still ways ; 
The world's ambitions lure him not 

From many streams and bays ; 
He holds gold cheap to whom God sends 

The wealth of quiet days. 

He wandereth where silent groves 

Stand dark on silent shores ; 
"Where specks of straying sunlight fall 

Slow splash his lazy oars, 
And woodland breezes bear to him 

Sweet gifts from Nature's stores. 

Grandly from out the eastern sea, 
With white cloud sails unfurled, 

He sees the mighty fleet of day 
Steal on a sleeping world, 

While from the strand deep broadsides boom. 
Where the white surf is hurled. 

Where all the world's loud noise is hushed, 

And only breezes sigh, 
Where peacefully and aimlessly 

The white clouds sail the sky, 
There dreameth he, and on the world 

Looks with a placid eye. 

To him, his evening comes where winds 

Blow soft on reeded shore, 
Where softly like a requiem sounds 

The distant ocean's roar, 
While on his sleep the silent stars 

Look down forever more. 



THE NESTING HABITS OF THE WOODCOCK. 

By Dr. M is ("-ibbs. 



The American woodcock {Philohela minor, 

Gmel.) is recorded as a bird of Eastern North 
America, north to British provinces, west to 
Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, etc., breeding 
throughout its range. In my acquaintance of 
nearly a quarter of a century with this pleasing 
species many nests have been discovered, and 
it has occurred to me to write a partial descrip- 
tion of the very interesting nesting habits. 

In lower Michigan, approximating latitude 
42 north, the long-bills arrive about April 15 
in numbers, although many are often seen in 
March, and they have even been recorded in 
late February. About the middle of April the 
mating season is inaugurated, although I have 
nearly satisfied myself that the majority of the 
birds are mated on their arrival from the south. 
Those late nestings are the isolated cases 
where difficulty was experienced in mating by 
young cocks, or more likely where the first 
eggs were destroyed, necessitating a second 
attempt. 

It is during the mating season when the song 
•of the woodcock is usually heard ; in fact, I 
have never heard it later than July 1, though 
information as to its being heard in the autumn 
months is occasionally adduced. This song, 
so called, is composed of a single note, and is 
difficult to describe ; it is uttered nearly always 
when the bird is flying and undisturbed, and 
may be called its love note. It is rarely heard, 
unless one is an observer and seeks the haunts 
of the long-bill at twilight's hour. Though so 
simple it is never uttered often enough to be 
considered monotonous, and it is to all intents 
its love song, and undoubtedly answers every 
purpose as well as the more melodious and 
varied carol of the thrush. To me it is ever 
exhilarating and pleasing, for I am led to an 
agreeable train of thoughts thereby; we may 
well believe, too, that there is a curious little 
brown hen listening to the notes as the active 
fellow dashes about in the gathering gloom 
near the willow copse, where the mate is pa- 
tiently awaiting the return of her lord. 

Mating having taken place after much Hurry, 



in which the success of the favored male seems 
gained from his attempts at gyrating flight, as 
battles are not seen to occur, a nesting site is 
chosen. The point decided on is always, so far 
as my experience goes, near bushes or trees 
where some protection is afforded, but the trees 
may be absent in many cases, and the bushes 
may be very scanty and scattered. The spot 
where the eggs are laid is always free and 
open, and though the nest be placed near thick 
bushes and beneath an almost impenetrable 
growth of branches, as it sometimes is, it is al- 
ways in perfectly open sight. It is fair to say 
that the nest is nothing, in four cases out ot 
five the eggs being laid on the bare leaves in a 
small natural depression in the earth, but in 
many instances there is evidence of some at- 
tention on the old birds' part, and in two cases 
which I have met with there was proof of quite 
an amount of skill displayed. One of these 
nests was all of two inches high at the edge, 
and formed nicely and evenly; it was com- 
posed entirely of dead leaves of the previous 
year. The other nest was composed of small 
twigs and lined with grass, and was placed 
between small weed stalks, which supported 
the sides. 

In the woods, where the sun's rays cannot 
strike, or only faintly at best, and where the 
spring rains have soaked the low ground, which 
they always select, the surface is nearly always 
wet, and consequently the eggs are neaily al- 
ways found on the wet leaves or grass. 

The eggs are generally laid in late April or 
early May in Southern Michigan, but are de- 
posited by the last of March further south. 
Well-grown young once met my notice May 20. 
which would indicate that the eggs were laid 
in early April. There are many late nestings 
also, and I am satisfied that many young are 
hatched in July. At one time we had a ridic- 
ulous law which opened the season for wood- 
cock July 5 ; when hunting at that date one 
season I found a brood of young but a few days 
old. The eggs are four in number, of a creamy 
or buff color, irregularly and thickly spotted 



132 



NA TURE'S REALM. 



with pale reddish brown oi varying shades. In 
shape the eggs are rotund, and less pyriform 
than those of the snipe and other small waders ; 
they average in size 1.59x1.22 inches. 

After the eggs are hatched what strange oc- 
cupants we find in the hollow ! what queer 
masqueraders are taking the place of the hand- 
some eggs ! The young — for young woodcock 
they are — are remarkable creatures, and are 
recognized by their bills, which are their only 
claims to a likeness to their parents. They are 
pretty at first as to markings, of blending sien- 



undisturbed, but when molested they will at- 
tempt to scuttle off to cover. In this they are 
in no wise as expert as young quail or grouse ; 
however, if one will draw away from the scene 
and return later, it will be found that the old 
bird has effectually concealed her brood. 

Woodcock are great destroyers of worms 
and grubs, and should statistics be given as to 
the amount of this kind of food devoured by 
this bird, I am afraid that I should not be be- 
lieved. If we are to credit Audubon, that ac- 
curate observer and celebrated ornithologist,. 




The Woodcock. 



nas, bone and Caledonian browns, although 
grotesque in the extreme. After a few days of 
nursery life they shake the dust, or, more pro- 
perly, muck, from their feet and leave the so- 
called nest, and wander about and in and out 
among the weeds and grasses. They tumble 
around as do young snipe, and in many re- 
spects much resemble those young chicks in 
appearance. At first they are clothed with a 
filmy down, which in time gives way to pin- 
feathers, and a full month elapses ere the young 
are of an age to fly and care for themselves. 

When discovered they may be seen resting 
themselves, in the manner of the old one when 
on the nest, or seeming to, on their bills, when 



the woodcock vyill devour as many worms in ar 
single night as will equal its own weight. On 
coming to a tempting bit of ground they plunge- 
their bills rapidly into the soft earth in an ap- 
parently aimless manner, but visibly by an as- 
tonishing correctness to the worms constituting- 
their food, and which they pull to the surface 
and devour with great gusto. 

When a boy, nothing exceeded the pleasure 
of a stroll by the river and search for the wood- 
cock's nest, and those days spent in the study 
of their habits were indeed red-letter days to- 
me, and are still pleasing recollections, and 
only surpassed by recalling early October 
hunts in pursuit of the whistling wings. 



How many readers of Nature's Realm, I 
-wonder, are acquainted with the gopher ? Not 
•the little ground squirrel found in some of the 
Northwestern States, nor the land tortoise of 
the South, which both answer to the name. 
This fellow is the pouched rodent, whose hav- 
ocs in Iowa, Missouri and other States along 
the Mississippi River have annoyed farmers 
more than all other nuisances combined. 

His book name is Geomys bursarias, but I 
very much doubt if the boy who traps him 
-could recognize him by such a classic title, and 
it is certain that Mr. Gopher himself would 
never come at the call. At home he is just 
plain gopher. 

A full-grown gopher is about the size of a 
large rat. The body is covered with a fine 
reddish fur. It tapers from the heavy shoul- 
ders back to the root of the tail. The fore feet, 
broad and spade-like, and armed with immense 
claws, seem altogether out of proportion to the 
other parts of the body. But when the amount 
of work they are expected to do is taken into 
■consideration, they seem wisely adapted to 
their owner's needs. 

The two pockets, one on each side of the 
neck, are the most distinctive feature of this 
little animal. These are two inches deep and 
an inch in diameter. It is generally supposed 
that they are receptacles for food, although 
knowing ones assert that they are also used for 
carrying loose earth out of the burrow. How- 
ever authorities may disagree as to their uses, 
it is certain that no gopher was ever seen with 
his hands in his pockets. 

Unlike the mole, which makes its tunnel by 
pushing the ground up into a ridge, the gopher 
operates from six to ten inches underground, 
and, as a matter of course, must remove every 
particle ot loosened earth to the surface to get 
it out of the way. Every few yards an opening 
is made, and the earth is deposited in mounds 
on top of the ground. 

The gopher is a rodent of the worst type. 
No matter what impediment is met in his pro- 
cess of tunnel making, he never digs around it, 



THE GOPHER AND HIS TRA1TER. 

Bv Linn vei s Roiikki^ 

if gnawing through is at all within the realm 
of the possible. There is always an unmis- 
takable connection between a dying fruit tree 
and the cluster of loose earth mounds in close 
proximity. If the line of travel happens to be 
along a hedge, the living fence tor yards to- 
gether shares the fate of the tree. 

The garden is a perfect paradise for this little 
marauder. The potato and onion patch, the 
rlower bed and the well-kept walk are com- 
panions in misery. One gopher let alone in a 
potato field has been known to destroy two 
bushels of vegetables in a summer. 

Lawns are disfigured with the fresh earth 
heaps which mark the progress of the industri- 
ous worker ; and these miniature mounds in a 
meadow become real obstacles in the path of 
the mower, clogging the machine, dulling the 
knives, and provoking the driver to profanity. 

If by chance the gopher opens his tunnel to 
the surface of the ground on the spot occupied 
by a shock of wheat or of corn, he is indeed 
fortunate. Here he can work in darkness and 
have the means of subsistence at hand. I have 
found many a shock of corn with the lower 
part completely imbedded in gopher mounds, 
and every ear within reach of the thief gnawed 
off close to the top of the pile of loose earth. 

So troublesome did the gopher become in 
Iowa, a quarter of a century ago, that system- 
atic efforts were made to exterminate the pest. 
In most counties a bounty of fifteen cents per 
head was offered out of the public treasury, 
and the well-to-do farmers gave ten cents in 
addition for every gopher caught on their own 
premises. 

The scalp — a triangular piece of skin includ- 
ing the ears and eyes, and running down to a 
point at the nose — was produced as evidence 
that a gopher had been caught. In some parts 
of the State only the tail was shown, but this 
was sometimes unsatisfactory proof of the de- 
struction of the animal, as the following inci- 
dent will show. 

A certain close-fisted farmer refused to pay 
the extra pittance for the great service which 



134 



NA TURK'S REALM. 



the gopher-hunters were rendering to the. 
country at large, and a plan of retaliation, as 
dishonest as it was shrewd, was adopted by 
the trappers. The gophers caught alive on 
this man's farm were carefully deprived of their 
tails and then turned loose to continue their 
depredations. The tails secured the reward 
from the county, but the miserly farmer re- 
ceived no benefit whatever from the transac- 
tion. 

Gophers were so numerous that trapping 
them at twenty-five cents a scalp, or even at 
fifteen c<;nts, opened up a most profitable in- 
dustry to the country lad. Not only did boys 
abandon the regular work of the farm, to make 
more in three months at trapping gophers than 
their entire years wages as farm hands would 
have amounted to, but the temptation was 
more than grown-up men could withstand. I 
knew one man whose income from this pecu- 
liar industry netted him one thousand dollars 
in a single summer. Aside from the pecuni- 
ary profit of the business, he gained not a little 
notoriety, and the nickname of "Gopher" 
Johnson clung to him long after he gave up the 
business. 

The gopher is caught with a smooth-jawed 
steel trap. A chain a few teet in length is at- 
tached, by which the trap is secured to a stake 
outside of the burrow. 

The place to set a trap is near the freshest 
mound in the little colony. An opening is 
made with a spade, and the trap set in the tun- 



nel is carefully covered with pulverized earth. 
The channel is then darkened with a board, 
laid flat on the ground, a hole an inch in diam- 
ater being left to let in a small quantity of light. 
This is a lure to the gopher, who must have total 
darkness in his underground realm. You. 
stake your trap and leave it todo its work. 

In the course of his daily rounds the gopher 
discovers that his works have been tampered 
with, and in his haste to close up the hole steps, 
into the trap and springs it. The prisoner is- 
usually caught by the foot, and is alive when 
found. Sometimes he springs the trap with 
his nose, and is caught by the neck and stran- 
gled in a few minutes. 

The gopher is a very interesting little animal,, 
but he is so shy that the naturalist who would 
study him thoroughly must be more than ordi- 
narily cautious. I have seen thousands of his 
mounds which appeared to have been thrown 
up only a few minutes, but only once have I 
found the chap at his work. With his broad* 
tore feet folded across his breast, he pushed 
the loosened earth before him,, and leveled off 
his mound with all the precision and dexterity 
of a landscape gardener among his flower-beds. 

Gophers are still numerous in parts of the 
West, but the incessant war made upon them 
with traps and with poisoned potatoes dropped 
into their burrows, has greatly reduced their 
numbers, and in a few years they will doubt- 
less disappear altogether.. 



THE EUROPEAN LAND 
Bv T. O 

Next to the cuckoo the land-rail is probably 
the most curious of the birds of Europe. 
There is not so much mystery about it as there 
is about the cuckoo, but there is quite enough 
to make the study of its habits intensely inter- 
esting. 

The land-rail is the Rollus crex of Linnaeus. 
The family to which it belongs does not seem 
to be very numerous, and I do not know if any 
bird that can be classed as belonging to the 
same family is found on this continent, or if the 
land-rail of the British Isles is known on the 
continent of Europe. 



RAIL OR CORN-CRAKE:. 

KU-. 

r-looked by the inhabitants of the countries 
it frequents were it not for its song ?). No 
human contrivance, no modern composer of 
" scientific" music, ever succeeded in invent- 
ing any noise equal in discord to the sounds 
emitted by this most horrible croaker of the 
night ; for its hideous quack, (/uack is gener- 
ally heard when people want to sleep. I have 
been kept awake for hours on a still, balmy 
June night by these terrible birds. They de- 
light in meadows and green fields. If such 
be near a farm house, and if the night be still, 
the inmates must be very deaf or very tired it, 




. r/tfS'/ 



The Land-kail - k.\kk. 



The rail, or corn-crake, is a most awkward- 
looking bird. The length of its neck and of its 
legs is out of all proportion to the length ot its 
tail, which appendage, supposing it to consist 
entirely of feathers, can hardly be said to exist in 
the "get up" of this curious, ill-shaped and 
stumpy-bodied bird. Its plumage is a dull 
brown of almost uniform tinge. Its size is 
somewhat larger than that of our American 
robin, but, owing to its unusual length of leg, 
it looks much bigger. Everything about the 
land-rail is displeasing ; its proportions are un- 
symmetrical, its flight is awkward and its color 
is ugly ; but all its imperfections of shape, and 
all its ugliness of plumage, would be willingly 



they get much sleep. It is not the monotone 
of the corn-crake's notes that constitutes their 
chief horribleness ; it is their inconceivable 
harshness ; and how any apparatus of flesh 
and blood can continue to emit them for hours 
at a time without going all to pieces, is one ot 
the mysteries connected with the corn-crake 
that has never been explained in a satisfactory 
manner. American tourists going to Great 
Hritain or Ireland in the months of May or 
June should avoid stopping over night in farm 
houses if they are in any way troubled with in- 
somnia ; for if a corn-crake begins his noctur- 
nal melody under their windows, their chance 
ot sleep, will be very slight. Hill Nye should, 



136 



NATURE'S REALM. 



take a trip to Europe in order to write up this 
•curious bird as he has written up the buzzard 
of the South. 

The corn-crake is as careless in its general 
habits as it is unmelodious in song. Its nest is 
a curiosity, not of neatness but of untidiness. 
It lays generally four or five eggs, somewhat 
the color of its own dull plumage, but it would 
be a libel to style the place where they are de- 
posited a nest. Not as much as with a single 
straw or feather does this slovenly bird adorn 
the spot in which its eggs are placed. If it 
finds a hall-obliterated cow-track, the eggs are 
laid there ; if no indentation can be found, they 
are laid on the plain surface of the ground, and 
the grass is tramped down about them. The 
young birds come out generally in July, and if 
not able to fly immediately on leaving the shell, 
they are at least able to run. They leave the 
nest the very day they come out of the shell ; 
but this is not an uncommon thing, for young 
wild ducks do the same. The corn-crake 
almost invariably builds its nest in meadows, 
and as the young birds are running about in 
the grass when the meadows are being mowed, 
multitudes fall victims to the mowing machine, 
consequently this bird is said to be getting 
scarce, much to the delight of those who live in 
the rural districts and are easily kept awake at 
night. Half a dozen corn-crakes quaking to- 
gether in the same field would prevent any 
easily disturbed person from getting a wink of 
sleep within half a mile of them. 

This bird flies with great difficulty, and 
never to any great distance. Its wings are so 
short in proportion to its size that its power ot 
flight is very limited. Any naturalist could 
see by examining it that it could no more fly 
over the British Channel than it could fly to the 
moon. I have frequently hunted these birds, 
and have seen many of them shot, but have 
never known them to fly more than sixty or 
seventy rods. In the face of these facts, a 
writer in the Encyclopaedia Britannica has the 
temerity to say that the land-rail is a migratory 
bird, and goes in winter to the interior of 
Africa. Here are his words: "It makes its 
way to the shores, if not to the interior, of 
Africa." " It has been known to reach Green- 
land and North America, in every instance, we 



believe, a straggler from Europe or Barbary." 
Such a grave error as making the land-raiT a 
migratory bird is something terrible to find in 
such a book as the Encyclopaedia Britannica. 
The writer who made such a mistake must 
have had some other bird in his mind, for had 
he ever seen a rail of the kind about which he 
was writing, he would have known that it 
would be utterly impossible for a bird formed 
like it to fly across the sea. There never yet 
existed a land-rail of the kind about which I 
am now writing, and about which the writer 
in the Encyclopaedia Britannica intended to 
write, that could fly across the channel between 
England and France, a distance of only twenty 
miles in a straight line. Where, then, does 
this bird go in winter, for it is never seen but 
in the summer or early autumn ? The answer 
to this question shows one of the most extraor- 
dinary facts in bird life. The land-rail is a hi- 
bernating bird. It never leaves the land of its 
birth, but goes into a hole in the ground and 
passes the winter there. I myself dug one out 
of a smothered-up sewer near our farmyard in 
the winter of 1848. The bird was alive and 
apparently none the worse for its many months 
of imprisonment. It is a well-known fact to 
many naturalists and sportsmen that the Euro- 
pean land-rail hibernates. By no other possi- 
ble means could it preserve its lite, even during 
the mild winters of the British Isles. The 
land-rail is evidently a grub or worm-feeding 
bird ; it does not get its living in the water or 
marshes ; it is not usually seen in swamps, but 
almost always in rich upland meadows. The 
food it lives on is not to be found in winter ; it 
cannot fly to milder climes, and it is only by 
hibernating, or in other words going into a 
hole in the ground, that it can preserve itself 
through the winter. I do not know if it is a 
fact that any other bird hibernates, and would 
like to be enlightened on this point through 
Nature's Realm. 

I have never known the land-rail to be seen 
in the fall. It may be that the young birds fly 
in August or September, but I have never seen 
one on the wing later than July. The proba- 
bility is that the young birds do not fly at all 
during the first summer of their lives. They 
can run with great swiftness, and even the old 



NATURES REALM. \yr 

birds, when hunted by dogs in June or July, them, but remain with them until hibernating 

will often run for scores of rods before rising. time, when both young and old birds go into 

The reason that land-rails are seldom or never winter quarters under ground, 

seen after the first of September is probably It would be interesting to hear something 

because the old birds remain near the young more about this curious bird from some other 

ones, and as the latter can fly only with great person who has had an opportunity of studying, 

difficulty, the old birds do not fly away from its habits. 



A SPRINGTIME SONG. 

Bv Alesert BlGELOW Paine. 

Flowers of spring, Mowers of spring, 
Showers and sunshine quickly bring ; 
Scattered thickly o'er the meadow, 
Clustered in the woodland shadow, 
By the dusty roadside blooming, 
'Freshly, gaily, and perfuming— 
The glorious air of the springtime fair 
Here, and there, and everywhere ; 
Flowers of spring, flowers of spring,. 
Showers and sunshine quickly bring. 

Songs of spring, songs of spring, 
Brooks that laugh and birds that sing,. 
Trees that whisper in the glade, 
Winds that murmur 'neath their shade,. 
Butterflies and happy bees 
Drowsing through the fragrant trees ; 
Meadow larks that, soaring high, 
Sing their carols to the sky ; 
Ouails that call, on left and right, 
•• Bobby White ! oh, Bobby White ! " 
Songs of spring, songs of spring, 
Every being seems to sing. 

Loves of spring, loves of spring, 
Birds and bees and blossoms bring ; 
When it comes we cannot guess — 
Love that's born of loveliness ; 
Roaming through the meadow land,. 
Heart to heart and hand to hand ; 
Music sweet and meadows iair 
Touch the hearts as light as air. 
Loves of spring, loves of Spring, 
Birds and bees and blossoms bring. 



PROFESSOR JOE— A STORY OF THE SIOUX. 



By Sam-jel Parker. 



One tine morning in the spring of '81 found 
me mounted on a spirited Indian pony and gal- 
loping along the river trail leading north from 
Cheyenne Agency, Dakota, to Standing Rock. 
It was the month of April and the first shy to- 
kens of spring were visible in the tender green 
of the slowly unfolding leaves of the cotton- 
woods and river osiers in the bottom lands, and 
in the vivid streaks of verdure along the mar- 
gins of the sheltered water courses which 
threaded their musical way among the great 
yellow marl bluffs overlooking the turbial Mis- 
souri. A steady canter of about two hours 
brought me to the Cheyenne, the queen of all 
the Dakota rivers, the gleaming waters ot 
which, from its junction with the Missouri, 
stretched away through a succession of cotton- 
wood and willow groves, until its glancing 
pathway was lost to view in the far blue dis- 
tance to the westward. 

A large party of Sioux were encamped among 
the trees in the river valley with their ponies 
grazing along the banks, and among the wil- 
lows in close proximity to the main village a 
number of little girls in variegated costumes of 
brilliant colors were busy as a colony of beav- 
ers, fashoning miniature wigwams of about the 
proportions of muskrat houses by bending and 
■weaving together in a very ingenious manner 
the tops of willows and covering the frames 
thus constructed with blankets and shawls. 
Their animated conversation and ripples of 
musical laughter, as they went about their 
juvenile pastime, mingling pleasantly with the 
harmony of the prattling river and the contagi- 
ous levity of the larks and blackbirds which, 
from the clumps of killickinick, were cheering 
the valley with their delightful whistling. 

While fording the river, which was consider- 
ably swollen from the recent melting of the 
snow, my attention was attracted to an Indian 
on the opposite bank, and who was evidently 
awaiting my approach. He was mounted on a 
pony and a hunting bow with a handsomely 
decorated quiver containing his arrows was 
slung across his back. The Indian proved to 



be Roaming Bear, a handsome young brave of 
superb physical proportions, and whom I readily 
recognized by the waviness of his long raven 
hair, a peculiarity universal among the red 
men. 

Water fowl were plentiful in the lowlands 
along the river, and Roaming Bear's destina- 
tion was a certain bayou, lying on my route 
and distant about two miles above, where he 
expected to bag a few wild geese and ducks. 
In response to my query as to why he was 
armed with only the ancient weapon of his 
people, Roaming Bear launched forth into a 
very lugubrious account of a mishap which 
had but recently befallen him, and which had 
resulted in the loss of his favorite rifle. On a 
raft of his own construction, hastily improvised 
from drift-wood, Roaming Bear, with his rifle 
and his winter catch of furs, consisting of sev- 
eral bales of wolf, wildcat and beaver, had at- 
tempted to cross the Moreau River. The 
stream was swift and angry ; the raft had col- 
lapsed, consigning Roaming Bear, his rifle and 
cargo of fur to the icy clutches of the Moreau. 
The furs had been recovered, but the maza- 
wakan (spirit iron) had plumped to the bottom, 
leaving Roaming Bear minus a Winchester, 
and as a result of all of which his " heart was 
very bad." 

While galloping leisurely along a sudden 
turn of the trail brought us into the midst of a 
densely populated town of prairie dogs, and 
my ineffectual attempts to bag one of the frisky 
denizens with a small pocket revolver proved 
sufficiently diverting to provoke a grim smile 
on the hitherto imperturbable countenance ot 
Roaming Bear, who presently unslung his bow 
and favored me with an exhibition of his skill 
as an accomplished archer by impaling a dog 
on his shaft at a distance of about forty yards, 
without dismounting from his pony. The 
bayou alluded to soon hove into view, and a 
large flock of mallard ducks were feeding 
among the rushes on the farther shore. Being 
desirous of witnessing another display of the 
Indian's marksmanship, I withdrew with my 



NATURES REALM. 



139 



jpony behind some bushes and awaited results. 
Instead ot dismounting, however, Roaming 
Bear threw his body horizontally alongside his 
pony, with one foot resting on the crupper and 
his left hand clinched firmly in the animal's 
mane, leaving the reins sufficiently slack to 
permit the pony to graze, meanwhile urging it 
gradually in the direction of the game. The 
stratagem proved entirely successful, for in a 
few moments Roaming Bear had approached 
to within easy range of the unsuspecting fowls, 
when, dropping lightly to the ground, he crept 
noiselessly as a shadow to a clump of tall weeds 
and prepared for a shot. The matchless pose 
presented by the figure of the kneeling Indian 
during the momentary period required to direct 
his aim was so superbly statuesque, that a 
faithful reproduction of the model in the form 
of enduring bronze by a Kemeys or Borye 
would have made a noble accession to the nu- 
merous trophies of their genius. The sharp 
twang of the bowstring was succeeded by the 
faintly audible hiss of the feathered missile, 
which, propelled by the arm of the elastic In- 
dian, sped swiftly with an unerring precision, 
and instantly transfixed itself into the side of a 
splendid drake, the fatal effect of the shot being 
at once apparent in the futile attempts of the 
stricken fowl to rise and join in the convulsive 
flight of its frightened companions. So highly 
creditable was this second demonstration ot 
my companion's skill that I was constrained to 
vent my admiration in a series of applauding 
cheers, which were heartily supplemented by a 
couple of loons which, at a respectable dis- 
tance, had likewise been furtive spectators of 
the performance, and which, with the audacity 
of their species, awoke the dreamful silence of 
the valley with peals of hilarious laughter. 

By consulting my watch I discovered that a 
further delay would preclude the possibility of 
■my arriving at Devil's Island by nightfall, that 
being the point whither I had hoped to reach 
the first day out. I therefore resumed my 
journey at once, Roaming Bear kindly accom- 
panying me for a short distance for the purpose 
of directing me to a point where an unused 
bridal trail debouched from the river valley 
into the midst of the hills, and which he in- 
formed me would surely lessen the distance 



sufficiently to permit me to reach my destina- 
tion before dark. A few minutes' riding 
brought us to the trail designated by Roaming 
Bear, when, after presenting the savage with a 
box of prairie matches as a reward for his ser- 
vices, I again set forward, the watchful loons 
hailing my exit from the valley with a parox- 
ysm of clamorous approbation bordering on 
the hysterical. 

When fairly within the confines of the hills 
the trail became more broadened and distinct, 
winding sinuously through chambered gorges 
fingered with clinging pines and cedars, and 
past dank and sheltered marshes odorous with 
the aroma of bursting willow buds, and where 
the reigning silence was broken but not re- 
lieved by the lonely croak of the bullfrogs and 
the long-drawn call of the curlews from the 
russet uplands beyond. It was high noon 
when, to my intense relief, I emerged from the 
lonely recesses of the hills on to a long and 
level sweep of bottom land lying beside the 
Missouri River, its surface covered with a 
densely intermingled growth of diamond wil- 
low, whistle wood and rose bushes, with an oc- 
casional pine or cedar, and acres of mountain 
ash and bilberry trees. Having permitted my 
faithful pony to quench his thirst from the 
river, I selected a grassy spot beneath some 
trees on the bank, and, removing his saddle 
and bridle, picketed him out to graze, after 
which I unpacked my wallet of provisions and 
set about the business of appeasing my own 
hunger, with such a relish of the viands as 
only a protracted gallop over a rugged and un- 
certain Indian trail could provoke. At the 
conclusion of my solitary repast I stuffed my 
pipe with tobacco, and seating myself on my 
saddle blanket with my back resting against a 
friendly cedar, I abandoned myself to the bliss- 
ful and soothing influence of the fragrant weed, 
the companionable virtues of which, from time 
immemorial, frequenters of the quiet wilder- 
ness have dwelt upon with an eloquent vener- 
ation. 

The Missouri was far above the usual stage, 
and its impatient waters hastened by with an 
impetuosity morose and fretful, as if vexed and 
disgusted with its unsightly cargo of logs and 
other floating debris with which its uneasy bo- 



140 



NATURE'S REALM. 



som was encumbered. Occasionally the quick, 
gurgling swirl of the angry water against a 
drifting tree which had suddenly become an- 
chored in the midst of the stream, would be 
borne to my ears, or a huge fragment of earth 
from an overhanging bank would descend with 
a rumbling plunge into the waiting depths be- 
low. In marked and pleasing contrast, how- 
ever, to the brooding temper of the restless and 
complaining river, was the mellow whistling of 
the arctic tohees in the secluded copses, and 
the soft halloos of the mourning doves floating 
sweetly through the rustling boughs. 

After the lapse of about an hour I shook the 
ashes from my pipe, saddled and mounted my 
pony, and again pushed forward, arriving 
within sight of Devil's Island late in the after- 
noon. When almost opposite the island the 
trail emerged from the smiling greenness of 
the river groves into a spacious bluff-sheltered 
valley, in the midst of which the wigwams of a 
large encampment of Sioux, comprising the 
band of Chief Yellow Owl, were scattered in 
picturesque confusion among clumps of wahoo 
bushes and the fire-charred stumps and snags 
of once majestic cottonvvoods and cedars. 
Wishing to ascertain the whereabouts of the 
cabin of Narcisse Rencounter, a French-Cana- 
dian with whom I hoped to pass the night, I 
I directed my course to where a bareheaded 
and athletic-looking warrior attired in a gaudy 
red blanket, with fringed leggings of elkskin 
and moccasins beautifully worked with stained 
porcupine quills, was superintending the move- 
ments of a fine herd of ponies grazing on the 
outskirts of the camp. In response to my in- 
quiry the Indian, with an expression of dignity 
like unto an ancient Roman senator, indicated 
the direction to be taken by a deliberate mo- 
tion of his pony whip, remarking at the same 
time that the white man's cabin was still a half 
mile above, and added, moreover, that I would 
find it necessary to wynnka nopa (look twice) 
before discovering it, inasmuch as it was hid- 
den like a wolf, in a thicket. 

The Indians in this encampment were com- 
posed in part of the wilder portion of the Sioux, 
who, after the battle of the Little Big Horn, 
had escaped with Sitting Bull into the British 
possessions, and who had recently been trans- 



ferred from Standing Rock to this, the Cheyenne 
reservation. But being without weapons, with 
the exception of hunting bows, their hostile 
character was apparent only in their strict ad- 
herence to the native costume of the tribe, and. 
in the wildly fantastic dances in which scores- 
of disaffected braves with paint-streaked faces,, 
and resplendent with ornaments and bells, held, 
nightly carnival. 

Next to Yellow Owl, the acknowledged, 
leader of the band, the most potential factor in 
the camp, was Thunder Hawk, a subordinate 
chief, whose unclad but symmetrically propor- 
tioned form during the exulting evolutions of 
the war dance was rendered still more conspic- 
uous by the ostentatious display of ancient 
battle scars with which his body was liberally 
disfigured. Circular spots of lamp black dis- 
tributed over various portions of the subtle In- 
dian's anatomy indicated the previous visitation 
of white men's bullets, and painted arrows di- 
rected the observer's gaze to where the pointed 
shafts of the hated and cowardly Crows had 
found a lodgment, while crimson streaks and 
blotches of verrrtilion, from which cleverly imi- 
tated rivulets of gore trickled profusely down,, 
betokened a close and cordial familiarity with 
knives and tomahawks. But the redoubtable 
Thunder Hawk's popularity rested not entirely 
on his reputation as an invincible warrior. 
Pretty Cloud, his daughter, was a maiden 
famed for her beauty throughout the whole 
Sioux nation — a girl whose strikingly handsome 
features of a decided Hebrew cast had won for 
her the complimentary appellation of "the 
handsome Jewess " from the military officers at 
Standing Rock. 

Suitors innumerable had yearned to adorn 
their wigwams with this forest flower, but only 
to be encountered by the frown of an adverse 
fate. Even Whistling Elk, the youthful and 
favorite son of Yellow Owl, on whose copper- 
colored visage a few peculiar stripes of ochre 
and vermilion proclaimed the pining melan- 
choly of an unrequited affection, had been fa- 
vored with no privilege of exemption from the 
common lot. Indeed, the very desperate ex- 
pedient to which the sullen and despairing 
savage had resorted, with a view to elevating 
himself in the tribe's regard and likewise win- 



NATURES REALM. 



141 



•ning favor in the eyes of Pretty Cloud, had 
■culminated in humiliation and disgrace. Young 
Whistling Elk, after mature deliberation, had 
resolved to signalize himself by meeting and 
•coping single-handed with ma-fo, the grizzly, 
and bearing home its claws as a trophy of his 
prowess. On his triumphant return the village 
would resound with his praise ; the warriors 
would dance, and, best of all, Pretty Cloud, 
after plucking the thorns from his moccasins, 
would sing him to sleep. 

For the space of three days was Whistling 
Elk immured within the privacy of his wigwam, 
industriously employed in " making medicine " 
before issuing forth to the momentous struggle. 
For three days did he prowl throughout the 
wilds of the Black Hills before coming upon 
the object of his search, which, alas ! proved 
so utterly morose and unmanageable, and so 
terribly reckless with tooth and claw, that three 
days more were required for Whistling Elk to 
pull himselftogether. Meanwhile ma-to, some- 
what vexed and disgusted, but in no wise 
irouted, had ambled leisurely away to his lair. 



One day an up-river steamboat, hailing from 
St. Louis, halted at the lower extremity of 
Devil's Island, directly opposite the Sioux vil- 
lage. Aside from a large party of choppers 
employed on a government contract, who dis- 
embarked at the island, there was a genteel 
and prepossessing man of faultless physique, 
with piercing black eyes, a sweeping mustache, 
and long, glossy hair, black as the plumage of 
the ravens that croaked in the island woods. 
Before proceeding up the river, however, the 
captain ordered a yawl to be lowered from the 
boat's side, in which the stranger and his lug- 
gage were deposited and paddled across the 
arm of the river to a bushy point only a short 
distance above the Sioux camp. When both 
man and luggage had been safely landed, the 
yawl, manned by the good-natured but awk- 
ward stevedores, put back to the steamer, 
leaving the handsome stranger standing on the 
bank, an object of curious interest to the Indi- 
ans, who, on the first appearance of the ' fire 
boat," had flocked to the river. 



[TO DED IN M-W I 



AMONG THE MOTHS 
By Julia P. 

A butterfly in March ! Velvety black, with 
wings bordered with a double row of yellow 
spots and the hinder wings tailed, having also 
the added ornament of seven blue spots (a 
nebula of dotted blue points with a frosted sil- 
very sheen marking each spot). He is the 
Papilio asterias. You have seen him in May, 
June or July, hovering over a bed of phlox or 
other sweet flowers ; but unless you caught 
him " in the bud," or, of course, when a cater- 
pillar, you would not have him in the middle of 
March. 

The sole occupant of a glass fernery, sipping 
from sugar-sprinkled moss with his long, un- 
coiled tongue, he seems quite at home, and 
sees nothing of the snow now whitening every 
branch and tiny shrub — knows nothing of the 
" April-fool," which, as Susan Ceolidge says, 
spring throws to the flowers outside — the dar- 
ing crocus and daffodil. With his moss, and 
some fresh snowdrops in a vase, standing in 
his glass house for dessert — an extra drop of 
sweetened water in their pure cups — he is 
monarch of his little world. 

As a caterpillar he was handsome. At first 
a tiny black caterpillar, with a white stripe 
running through the centre of the body and 
across the tail, and covered with some small 
black dots or points. The next coat has but 
one white stripe across the middle, on the sixth 
and seventh rings, with orange spots beneath 
the black points, two white spots on his first 
ring and a row of white spots on each side. 
Then at last he has a rich coat, striped with 
black and dark green, and ornamented with 
deep yellow spots. But his chrysalis is quite 
plain, with nothing of the exquisite beauty of 
the green and gold house of the Danais. But 
when he leaves his shell, coming out by the 
narrowest possible front door, so that you must 
look sharp to see the thread-like opening, then 
he is much handsomer than the Danais butter- 



* " Among the Moths and Butterflies " is a charmingly writ- 
ten and instructive work on these insects, recently published by 
G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York, irom which we reprint the 
ntroductory chapter. 



AND BUTTERFLIES.* 

Ballard. 

fly. So, many people, living in plain taber- 
nacles, and sometimes regarded homely by 
others, have something within, waiting to give 
great surprise when they shall have escaped, 
through a narrow door, into a world of won- 
derful light and beauty ! 

The Papilio asterias is very fond, in his 
caterpillar form, of the wild carrot, or garden 
carrot, parsley or celery, and any of the warm, 
aromatic plants, as anise, caraway and dill. 

This March butterfly, as a caterpillar, was 
eating his delicate carrot leaves and seeds last 
September at the same time with the Danais 
caterpillar, and as we brought them fresh 
leaves day after day, and watched them go into 
their queer little houses at the same time, we 
did not know then but they would have their 
" opening " also together. But while the 
Danais was ready to come out in a fortnight or 
three weeks, the Asterias slept on until March — 
six months under his glass roof, without mov- 
ing a hair's breadth, until he was out trying his 
new wings yesterday morning. Some other 
kinds of chrysalids have kept him company all 
this time, except that they have moved a little, 
and sometimes a good deal (when touched 
with a pencil or slightly blown upon), showing 
the life within ; but not a particle — watch him 
never so closely — moves the Asterias. There 
were six chrysalids of this one kind under sep- 
arate glasses, all of which were taken as cater- 
pillars, and each of which I had watched go 
into his separate house. It is not a cocoon, 
woven, as some are, of their own hairs, or spun 
from some hidden substance through a spin- 
neret, but, like the Danais', it is formed under 
the caterpillar skin, and when he is suspended 
as a caterpillar, with a silken thread holding 
him about the body, he drops off the entire 
skin, and it remains, as seen, beside his chry- 
salis, which is pale and nondescript in color, 
knobbed with many little round protuberances, 
giving it a curious rather than pretty appear- 
ance. When one was out the next thing was 
to look at the others, when lo ! a most sur- 
prising revelation ! Another chrysalis was-- 



XATL'RE'S REALM. 



•43 



empty, but the front door was very different ! 
Instead of a crack, a thread wide and half an 
inch long, in the upper part ot the back (the 
narrow black line in the chrysalis shows the 
butterfly's door), there was in the side a per- 
fectly round hole the size of a pea ; and trying 
his new wings (four narrow, glassy, blue-black 
ones) was something more unlike the butterfly 
than was the circular door he came out of .un- 
like the narrow door of the Asterias. Looking 
something like a saw-fly, and more like a wasp, 
it was a large ichneumon fly. The parent ich- 
neumon, having stung the caterpillar and de- 
posited the eggs, the ichneumon was safe in 
his provided chrysalis home, when he woke up 
to a sense of his privileges, and not only ap- 
propriated the house of the Asterias, but liter- 
ally lived on the occupant, eating him up and 
then making his own way into the world, leav- 
ing the chrysalis entirely empty and quite 
whole, with the exception of the round door. 
His head and slender body, antennas and six 
feet, are all an ochre yellow. The eyes are 
large, jetty black and oval-shaped, and back of 
them, on the top of the head, are three round, 
black beads, in a triangular position. His 
body is joined to his head and shoulders by a 
pedicel, so long and slender that he is able to 
work from it like a pivot in all directions, giv- 
ing as fine specimens of gymnastic operations 
as one often sees. 

His veined, clear wings are exquisitely 
glossy, and he polishes their steel blue till it 



burns like a mirror. He has the vanity of a 
Beau Brummel, judging by the great pains he 
hourly takes with his entire toilet. Grasping 
both his long, trembling antennas at once, and 
smoothing them out again as a philosopher 
would stroke his beard, nothing is left on one 
of their thirty-five segments large enough for a 
microscope to reveal. Then his wings and six 
legs go through the same operation, and he is 
ready for a fresh supply of sugared sweets. 
But alas ! his mouth ! If he had claim to 
beauty in every other particular, one good look 
at this remarkable feature in a mirror would 
secure his humility forever. An hour's close 
study with the microscope reveals no trace ot 
beauty about it ! The most curious transfor- 
mations do no good in redeeming its unmis- 
takable homeliness. There are three projec- 
tions from it, impossible to describe ; two seem 
like short, curved legs, with which it clasps its 
throat, and the centre is a curved affair some- 
thing like the letter V. It is very much like 
the mouth of a wasp, but in such constant mo- 
tion that one cannot guess at its exact shape or 
manner of .manipulation. 

It is well that it is so small that it does not 
detract from his looks except with the use of a 
microscope — and so long as he does not know 
it himself we will allow his vanity to be par- 
donable. 

One such parasite will, however, satisfy us, 
and we hope only the narrow front door will 
open for the rest of the Asterias chrysalids. 



MY SET OF GREAT 

By A. C. 

"" Dave ! Dave Poor ! " 

" Yer call me, mistah ? " 

"Yes, come here a minute." 

"All right, sah." 

" Do you go in the woods much now-a- 
days ? " 

"Yes, 'er goodeal." 

" Ever find any birds' nests ? " 

" Oh, yes'ir, lots in the summer way back 'a 
the Lakes. Loons an' ducks an' eulls — " 

"Any owls ?" 

"Y-yes, sometimes" (rather doubtfully). 

■" They build on the ground, don't they ? " 

" No, holler trees." 

"'Think you could find any now ? " 

"Dunno — might." 

"Well, see here, Dave, I know you're the 
biggest story-teller around here and perhaps 
you are fooling me, but if you find an owl's nest 
for me I'll give you a dollar bill." 

"Willyeh?" 

"Yes, I will!" 

I turned on my heel and faced the March 
wind up to the house. There was my cabinet 
and there the place so long empty because I 
had no set of owls. I had tried so many times 
to imagine what effect the pure white shells 
would have, but imagination is an unsatisfac- 
tory article to fill a cabinet with. This Dave 
Poor is a kind of scapegrace who lives awav 
back in the woods, and his meeting me when I 
was thinking of my hobby led to the above 
conversation. The whole transaction had 
passed from my mind before the end of two 
days. 

March was dragging out her last week when 
one evening I saw Dave coming toward the 
house. I met him on the doorstep. 

" Well, Dave, what's the news ? " 

"Gudday, sir. Yer said yer'd gimme a dol- 
lar to show yo' an owl's nest." 

" Great Scott ! yes, and so I will ! " 

•'Well, I know a cat-owl's nest." 

Dave got his dollar there and promised to 
meet me next morning at seven o'clock and 
take me to the spot. I tried to study that night, 



HORNED OWL EGGS. 

Kemfton. 

but my mind was thoroughly unsettled by vis- 
ions of what might be on the morrow. 

The following morning came cold and clear. 
Dave was on hand, and after a hot breakfast 
we started on our tramp — he carrying the bag 







The Great Horned Owl. 

of supplies and hatchet, I with gun, climbers 
and collecting case. 

We soon cleared the village, climbed the 
hill, spanned the valley and were struggling up 
the Gaspereaux Mountain. The snow was 
knee-deep and we had to break our own road. 
What earnest oologist cannot recall such expe- 
riences ? How we sometimes have to work 



NATURE'S REALM. 



■45 



'for the hidden treasures. That tramp of nine 
miles will always be remembered by me. At 
last I got impatient. 

"See here, Dave, for heaven's sake how 
much farther do you intend to take me ? " 

"Gettin' tired, eh? Only 'er mile 'er so 
now." 

We had entered a thick spruce woods on a 
southern hillside. Nature slept, seemingly. 
Vet here dreams were disturbed by the occa- 
sional chatter of the squirrel as he contentedly 
gnawed his spruce bud and thought ot beech- 
nuts safely stored away in a certain stump ; by 
the "rat, tat, tat.'" of the busy woodpecker, 
the untiring entomologist of the woods ; by the 
"yang, yang, yaug," of the red-bellied nut- 
hatch peering into every crack and crevice of 
the rough bark to which it clings upside down. 
Now a few kinglets graced the branches — 
beautiful little fairies ! Now a flock of Ameri- 
can crossbills and pine grosbeaks flew noisilv 
to yonder evergreens. 

" Whirr-r-r-r-r " — what a noise that part- 
ridge makes as he rises a few feet ahead of us 
and makes good his escape. A rabbit, evi- 
dently surprised at hearing human voices in 
his domain, peaks out at us from among the 
undergrowth. Who does not love our wintry 
forests ! 

But now we are nearly there. Here is Dav- 



ison's Lake. 1 la-.t saw it.-> sparkling waters 
dancing in the sunshine of a beautiful June 
(I iy ; now it is one expanse of pure white. Its 
surface is sprinkled with diamonds which the 
scintillating snow crystals have received from 
the welcome sun. 

" See that 'ere big beech tree ? That's it." 
I was for climbing at once, but Dave ob- 
jected, saying he wanted some dinner first. 
While we sat on a log and did justice to our 
lunch I had a better opportunity of observing 
the tree. It was one of the old settlers — prob- 
ably a hundred years old. No limbs grew from 
slippery trunk within thirty feet of the ground, 
but there several branched oft". One of the 
largest had been broken, leaving a hollow 
stem, and that was the site Dave said the nest 
was on. A large, half rotten, frosty beech is 
not the easiest tree to climb, but after a time I 
succeeded. Looking into the hole all I could 
H-e were Mrs. Great Horned's eyes shining with 
supernatural light. She was soon placed 
snugly in the game bag for future attention. 
After much struggling and strong language 
the top was broken away, and, yes, there were 
the eggs so cosy and warm on the few leaves 
at the bottom of the cavity. 

As I sit here writing this that great horned 
owl stares at me from over the door, and " that 
place" in my cabinet is no longer empty. 



SEALSKINS AND SEAL FISHERIES. 



The animal population which has hitherto 
supplied us with the luxury of sealskins is rap- 
idly being exterminated, says a writer in the 
Glasgow Herald, and it is quite within the 
bounds of possibility that our descendents will 
be unable to procure a sight of the once plenti- 
ful material anywhere but in natural history 
museums. The scarcity of sealskins is an inev- 
itable result of the over-fishing procedure, 
which seems to attend well nigh every human 
enterprise nowadays. Sealskins, as articles of 
commerce, it may first of all be mentioned, do 
not all belong to one and the same category, 
and this for the plain reason that there are seals 
and seals. Every one knows the common seals 
which inhabit the waters round our own coasts. 
Creatures, these, possessing dog-like heads, 
mild eyes, and a body which tapers toward its 
extremity, while the limbs number four and are 
converted into swimming paddles. The front 
paddles are short and the hinder ones, which 
are connected with the short tail by a fold of 
skin, are stretched out behind. The ordinary 
seal is but a clumsy body on land. It wriggles 
and rolls with evident helplessness when placed 
on the shore. In the water, however, the 
whole aspect of affairs is altered. It is active, 
agile and graceful in its proper habitat. Its 
body is modelled on lines which fit it for rapid 
progression through the waves. The hinder 
part of the seal's body, together with the back 
limbs or flippers, constitute a kind of screw 
propellor. Moved by the powerful muscles of 
the trunk, it glides through the water, while 
the front flippers serve to steer the animal in its 
evolutions. These seals, together with their 
neighbors which give us sealskins, belong to 
the carnivorous order of quadrupeds. They 
share many characters in common with the 
lions, tigers, bears, dogs and like animals ; 
their own and special features consisting in 
their adaptation to a marine life. Naturally. 
like whales, they have to ascend to the surface 
in order to breathe. As a primal feature in con- 
nection with the history of the ordinary seals 
may be mentioned the fact that they posses^ a 



very wide distribution, both in temperate and" 
arctic latitudes. 

The seals from which the sealskins of com- 
merce are obtained present certain characters, 
on the other hand, of equally distinctive and 
prominent kind. To begin with, they are often 
named eared seals, from the fact that, unlike 
the common seals, they possess a small and ru- 
dimentary outside ear. In their general ap- 
pearance, also, the eared seals are different 
from the common seals. They are often named 
sea-lions from the fact that the head and face 
are somewhat leonine in aspect, and because 
some of them at least possess a well-developed 
mane. The sea-lion's head is thus set upon a 
very distinct neck, which is practically unrec- 
ognizable in the common seal. The hind quar- 
ters, again, terminate more abruptly than in 
the latter. The front flippers are much more 
distinctly separated from the body than is the 
case with our native seals ; so that, as far as 
movements either on land or water are con- 
cerned, these members are more efficient in- 
struments than are the corresponding append- 
ages in the ordinary seals. Then, also, the 
hind legs or flippers of the sea-lions are not di- 
rected straight backward, as in the seals, but 
are placed somewhat outward and forward. 
These members, in fact, although they serve all 
the purposes of swimming paddles, yet far more- 
effectively act as true limbs than is the case in 
the seal tribe. 

In swimming the sea lion uses both pairs ot 
limbs, while on land it is by no means the awk- 
ward animal that the ordinary seal appears to- 
be. Indeed, on the ground the sea lion is ex- 
tremely active. It can run almost as fast as a 
human being, and it certainly climbs over its 
rocky ledges and steps with the uttermost ease- 
Such is the animal from which the sealskin ot 
commerce -is obtained, regarded from a zoolo- 
gical point of view. It was the French natu- 
ralist Peron who in 1816 gave reasons for sepa- 
rating the ordinary seals from the sealskin seals 
or sea lions, which had before that time been 
classified with the common members of the 



NATURE'S REALM. 



147 



group. IVron had voyaged in the South Seas, 
and had noted the presence of an outer ear in 
the sea lions — a character which, as we have 
seen, is still used in zoology to indicate the 
sealskin bearers. Before the days of Pe"ron 
other voyagers had described the eared seals. 
They were also called "sea lions" and "sea 
bears." As regards the different animals in- 
cluded in the sea lion tribe, it may be said that 
from eight to ten species are well known. 
These, it need hardly be added, vary greatly, 
both in size and other physical features, as well 
as in the degrees of commercial importance 
with which they are regarded. 

Concerning the quarters of the world in 
which tur seals are found, we discover that 
they are more limited in range than are the 
ordinary seals. Thus, it may be said that they 
are found on the Pacific Coast of South America, 
although they also extend their peregrinations 
as far north on the Atlantic Coast as the River 
Platte. They are met with on the Calitornian 
Coast, and can be" traced to the Aleutian 
Islands and to Japan itself. Southwards, they 
occur on the New Zealand shores, Tasmania, 
and the southeast shores of Australia. Ker- 
guelen's Islands numbers them among its pop- 
ulation, and an odd species has made its habitat 
at Cape Town ; although it must be confessed 
this latter form must be regarded rather as a 
straggler than otherwise. The Pry bilov Islands 
to the north may be cited as their limit of dis- 
tribution in that special direction, and one 
species, the so-called "sea bear," has its chief 
quarters in these islands, and has furnished an 
immense number of skins to commerce for well 
nigh a century at least. It is certain that all 
the species of sea lions known are by no means 
equally valuable when regarded from the point 
of view of the fur trade. The skin of certain 
forms is more valuable than that of others. It 
is to be noted that it is the soft, silky under fur, 



which may be compared to the down in a bird, 
that is valued as sealskin when dressed and 
submitted to the other operations ol the fur- 
riers. 

Doubtless it is the extent of this under fur 
which constitutes any one species of sea lion 
valuable from the commercial standpoint, and 
there seems to be a consensus of opinion that 
this fur varies considerably in amount at differ- 
ent seasons of the year. The seals are killed 
usually by a blow from a wooden club, and are 
then skinned. The fat is also an article ot 
commercial value, for, like the whales, the sea 
lions possess an ample coating of fatty tissue, 
which, in addition to lightening the body, pre- 
serves an equable degree of warmth. Pre- 
served by a salting process, the skins are sold 
to the furrier with the original and outer coarse 
hair still present, the soft under fur being con- 
cealed by the shaggy outer coat. The method 
by which the sealskin or under fur is left and 
the coarse hair removed is said to have been 
the result of an accidental observation. In 
olden clays the hairs of the outer coat were 
simply pulled out singly, so as to leave the 
under coat or true seal fur. It was noticed, 
however, that the hairs of the outer coat were 
more deeply implanted in the hide than those 
of the under fur. This discovery, therefore, 
made it possible for the furrier simply to shave 
the skin from the inside so as to divide and 
separate the coarse outer hairs from the skin, 
and these hairs can therefore be washed off, 
leaving the rich under fur untouched, and 
ready for the dyeing operations to which it has 
to be subjected. A sealskin jacket or cape is 
thus really composed of seal's "down," as it 
were, dyed and dressed, and under the latter 
procedures the under fur becomes smooth and 
destitute of the somewhat curly structure it ex- 
hibits in the rough. 



NESTING AND BIRTH OF BIRDS. 



Bv Francis 

There is no time in all the year in which 
some young birds do not begin to earn their 
first experience. 

Sparrows and starlings sometimes leave the 

nest in the very depth ot winter. Robins have 

been hatched at Christmas. Waterton found 

-in December even a young owlet wearing still 

its dress ot down. 

But it is now, when woods are greenest, now 
in the warm June weather, that the tide of life 
is rising to the full. Now it is that we hear on 
every side, from hedge and tree and housetop, 
the childish voices of the young poets of the air. 

Not a tithe of all the gathering multitudes 
can ever see a second season. For the weasel 
and the sparrow-hawk, the catiff crow and all 
his brother bandits, will hold high revel in the 
covers. 

Were it not for the balance which is thus 
maintained, we should be overrun altogether 
by crowds of hungry birds. 

Nature manages her own affairs much better 
than we can, with our tinkering interference. II 
hawks were spared and magpies left in peace, 
we should hear very little about plagues of 
small birds. 

Even the owl, impelled by the needs of her 
nestlings to start on the chase somewhat earlier 
in the day than usual, may pick up a casual 
youngster here and there that happens to come 
in her way. 

It is very little, however, that owls do in this 
direction. The very hours they keep ensure 
their paying attention more to fur than feather, 
and careful examination of the ejected remains 
•of food that accumulate in their haunts has 
proved again and again that birds form a very 
small part indeed of their customary diet. 

The eagle owl, indeed, has been known to 
bring home partridges and blackcock, and even 
dead lambs. 

But the eagle owl is a stranger here ; when 
'he does pay us a visit he meets with a recep- 
tion that precludes all hope of his return. 

The owlets who were hatched in the early 
days of May are hardly ready yet to join the 



A. Knight. 

twilight forays ot their elders. An odd looking 
crew they are, huddled together in their hollow 
tree. Even the old bird is a ludicrous object. 

But, after all, the eyes of day have no busi- 
ness with the bird of night. It is only in the 
twilight that he wakens into life. Sallying out 
at dusk from his snug retreat in tower or tree, 
he floats like a phantom over the fields on his 
soft and soundless wings ; or, perched in me 
of the tall elms on the edge ot the meadow, 
startles the stillness with his mellow call. 

To the owlet spreading for the first time his 
downy wings to leave the shelter of his home, 
the outer world is altogether strange and new. 

Ever, indeed, will he look upon the landscape 
with other eyes than ours. For him the shadow 
goes backward on the dial. The fire of sunset 
is to him the light of dawn ; his day, the silent 
hours of night lit with cold stars or keen full 
moon. 

Some birds there are who, early in their 
young experience, learn something of the stir 
of life. Young kingfishers, hatched in the 
darkness of their tunnel, come to the entrance 
and look out long before their wings are grown. 
They grow familiar with the hum of the mill 
and the dreamy plash of the old wheel ; they 
watch the play of ripples round the stones ; they 
see the cloud of minnows dart like arrows up 
the stream. 

But to the young jackdaws in the tower the 
world at present means no more than a grim 
Norman wall, a brief stretch of narrow, time- 
worn stair, a single gleam of daylight overhead. 

The whole ascent is strewn with piles of 
sticks and heather. Above the belfry the way 
is blocked entirely by the great nests that the 
old birds have heaped even four feet high upon 
the ancient steps. 

And now the time approaches when the 
dark-coated nestlings begin to scramble off 
their nests, and flutter up the winding stair 
toward that narrow chink above them. They 
have heard but little yet of the stir of life, be- 
yond the hum of the village or the clangor of 
the bells. 



NATURES REALM. 



149- 



Now they look down upon a great world far 
below them, a world of blossoming orchards 
and rich meadow lands. It is their first sight 
of tree or sun or sky. 

Four gray heads look anxiously down from 
the narrow threshold. Their elders all the 
while are wheeling round the tower, floating 
now and then near by, as if to tempt the timid 
aeronauts to make the first perilous plunge. 

One of them gathers heart and flutters out. 
He gains the footing of one of the gargoyles 
that the barbarous " restorers " have spared to 
the gray old pile, while all the neighbors shout 
a chorus of encouragement. Another spreads 
his wings and alights on a battered scrap of 
carving on the wall. 

Xow all four have passed the brink, and one 
by one they gain the battlement of the tower, 
fluttering from point to point, until at last they 
muster courage to trust themselves upon the 
vielding air, and follow their parents to the 
fields below. 

It is a strange collection of materials that the 
jackdaw loves to accumulate in its untidy nest. 
Sticks and paper, carpet and cowhair, bits of 
cloth and scraps of string, are all made use of. 

Most birds that are hangers on of men, and 
find a living in the farmyard or the street, are 
ready to avail themselves of the handiwork of 
their suzerain in the construction of their nests. 

A stray end of string or worsted used in this 
way as building material has, ere now, brought 
dire disaster on the unfortunate architects. 
( >ne old bird even contrived to hang itself in a 
loop of worsted. Young sparrows, snared by 
the lining of the nest, have been imprisoned 
until late in the winter, fed all the while by 
faithful relatives, until some kindly hand re- 
leased them from their bondage. 

Although many broods are fledged already, 
and many more will soon have taken wing, 
there are not a few birds that still possess their 
souls in patience, warming their unhatched 

The kestrel, in her crevice in the cliff, has 
heard no faint note of life beneath her shelter- 
ing feathers. 

Still the goldcrest is swinging in her snug 
green hammock among the dark leafage of the 
churchyard yew. A tiny nest it is to hold so 



much. A family of eight have to find room in 
it, under their mother's wings. But they are a 
tiny race ; five of them full-grown would not 
amount altogether to a single ounce. 

Less fettered still are the swifts, whose labors 
have hardly even yet begun. Still on their 
untiring wings they career with joyous screams 
across the sky. 

Astir before the day begins to glimmer in the 
east, on the wing through the hot summer 
noon, still flying when the gold of sunset has 
faded from the sea, all day long they wander in 
the air. 

The nest of the swift shows but little art in 
its construction, nor is it always, indeed, the 
work of the bird itself. It will, occasionally at 
least, appropriate a house-sparrow's nest, 
whether occupied or not ; and more than once 
has a brood of young sparrows been seen which 
had apparently been turned out by the swifts 
and left to perish on the ground. 

The sparrow, for his part, is much addicted 
to seizing on the nest of a swallow — more fre- 
quently still on that of a house-martin, even 
when just new from the hands of the builders. 

It has often been said that the aggrieved 
owners have been known to call in the assist- 
ance of sympathizing neighbors, and that the 
assembled troop have then walled up the un- 
fortunate sparrows — to die of starvation in their 
ill-gotten hold. Happily, however, for the 
reputation of the martin, it is very doubtful if 
there is any real authority for the story. 

Swifts seem unusually abundant this year 
1889), but swallows and martins have come 
back to us in sadly diminished numbers. 

The reason for this difference is not far to . 
seek. The dark plumage of the swift has no 
charm in the eyes of the high-born beauties, 
for whose adornment so many thousand lives 
have been sacrificed this spring. 

The destruction of swallows has, indeed, 
been most lamentable. The report recently 
presented to the Zoological Society of France, 
after describing how the birds are taken and 
tor what purpose they are killed, urges that the 
French Government should interfere to protect 
a race whose services to man are beyond all cal- 
culation. So great has been already the hav. c 
made, that there are parts of France where the 



ISO 



NATURE'S REALM. 



swallow, once numerous, is now unknown. 
•"If this destruction goes on for a few years 
longer," continues the report, "France will in 
ten years have no more swallows except in her 
•collections.'' 

Unhappily for us, the homeward path of our 
migrants lies through France, and thus it hap- 
pens that our own particular birds are killed 
in thousands on the Mediterranean coast as 
they alight, spent and breathless, on the land. 

The most destructive means employed is the 
treacherous wire, on which the tired travelers 
too trustfully alight, and are slain wholesale 
by an electric discharge. 

This is a swift, and perhaps a painless death, 
but the report alludes also to snares and even 
hooks. One shudders to think of the little 
creatures fluttering in agony upon a baited 
hook — for what ? To furnish an adornment 
for some Parisian belle "all gentleness, mercy 
and pity." 

This is the reason why this year so many of 



us miss the pleasant twitter of the martins 
round our eaves ; why the nests where we have 
so often seen them cling are crumbled and de- 
serted. This is why the swallows come no 
more to their nests among the rafters. 

How dark to us would be the dawn of spring 
if on the empty sky we should watch for them 
in vain ! How cold the summer days in which 
we heard no more their snatches of sweet song, 
nor caught the glitter of their sunny wings ! 
They would be to us as to the poet the van- 
ished faces of his friends — 

" Something is gone from Nature since they died, 
And summer is not summer, nor can be." 

[This delighttul leaflet is taken from "The 
Idyls of the Field," by Francis A. Knight, and 
published by Roberts Brothers, of Boston. A 
companion volume, " By Leafy Ways," by the 
same author and publishers, is now on our 
table, and both books are replete with matter 
that will charm all readers who are fond of 
natural history. — Ed.] 



NOTES FROM MONTANA. 
l'.v Charles Hallock. 



One of the best animal painters in the world 
is Charles M. Russell, of Cascade, Montana, 
who is popularly known as the " Cowboy Artist." 
His specialties are frontier scenes, wild Indian 
life, cattle pieces and natural history subjects, 
all of -which are literal in their similitude and 
imbued with a truthfulness of character and de- 
tail which it is possible only for those to attain 
who are to the manner bred. At home his 
work is in great demand at high prices, but he 
prefers to round up a herd of cattle, or cut out 
a steer, rather than paint. Only his absolutely 
leisure moments are employed in this occupa- 
tion. It is a pity that one so gifted, and enjoy- 
ing such exceptional opportunities for the cul- 
ture of his favorite art and pastime, should not 
be willing to place himself in the way of secur- 
ing a world wide reputation. Mr. Russell's 
private mark is a buffalo skull in the corner ot 
his canvas, and by it all his works are known. 

In the Pontet ethnological collection at Great 
Falls is a great variety of Indian costumes ot 
various wild tribes, over whom the wave of civ- 
ilization is gradually sweeping, and all persons 
interested in the traits and costumes of the 
American aborigines can here examine original 
articles and objects which later on will become 
obsolete except as museum curiosities. Some 
of the plumed war bonnets and gala costumes 
are unique and quite expensive, especially those 
trimmed with the traditional war eagle feathers ; 
for these are hard to obtain now, since there is 
no more " running meat " on the plains to attract 
the birds. The big braves of the Redskin com- 
munity are glad to procure the indifferent wing- 
plumes of the vulgar buzzard as substitutes. 
Some use the feathers of the horned owl. In 
old times the enterprising young bucks used to 
temporarily immure themselves in the carcasses 



of elks and bisons, and when the eagles col- 
lected — for " where the carcass is, there the 
eagles are gathered together" — they would 
reach out a sly hand and snatch the birds oi 
freedom by the leg, and so capture them una- 
wares. It used to be a rule of the tribes, which 
still holds good in most cases, that no one could 
wear the eagle plumes unless he had earned 
the right to do so by making his "coups" in 
battle. Every scalp taken was a coup, and 
each coup was represented by an eagle plume 
in the bonnet. An ornamented coup-stick was 
employed by noted and active warriors in the 
sanguinary days to keep tally with, a notch 
being cut in the stick for each scalp taken. 
The Indians always like to air their trophies on 
festive occasions, .and whenever a dance is 
going on they don their headgear just as civil- 
ized persons do their coiffures at a ball or party. 
At most other times they attire themselves in 
plain costmes or undress regalia. 

John Sinclair, of Great Falls, is a painstaking 
and intelligent naturalist and sportsman who 
has specimens at his place of nearly all the 
birds and animals of Montana, many of them 
in duplicate, as well as many valuable fish 
specimens. Such a complete collection as this 
should find its way eventually into a State mu- 
seum, where they can be more securely pre- 
served. Many species have already become al- 
most extinct, and specimens will increase in 
value as time progresses. John is always glad 
to receive and entertain intelligent visitors who 
don't ask foolish questions, and he will take 
sportsmen to the best game locations at the 
proper seasons. The best remaining hunting 
regions of Montana are directly accessible from 
Great Falls. 



THE AQUARIUM. 



CONDUCTED BY HUGO MULERTT. 

[The Editor of this Department will cheerfully answer all queries relative to the condui i ut Aquaria.] 



The Nest-Building Stickleback. 

Sticklebacks are wonderful fish and with 
hem many wonderful things are possible. We 
know of no other fish that harmonize their col- 
ors to the surroundings as do the sticklebacks. 
Take the many-spined stickleback as an exam- 
ple. In a pond at Maspetto, L. I., which has a 
bottom of white clay, and was so situated as 
to be under the full glare of sunlight nearly all 
day, the color of the sticklebacks was that of a 
dirty white. A 
half mile beyond 
this pond was a 
ditch containing 
peaty water; here 
the same variety 
of sticklebacks 
were brown. A 
few yards beyond 
this ditch was a 
hole, the bottom 
of which was 
black creek mud ; 
here the stickle- 
backs were jet 
black, even to the 
eyes. The male 

fish of the two-spined species, Gastcrosteus 
aculeatus (see illustration), are more wonder- 
still, as illustration of this fact. The first indi- 
cation that a male stickleback is about to con- 
struct a nest is the taking on of green and red 
colors, the eye at the same time becoming 
blue. When the nest is completed, and the 
time has come to either coax or drive the fe- 
male to deposit her ova in the nest, then the 
colors ot the male become wonderfully intense, 
the red on the lower part of his body becoming 
almost luminous. These colors the male re- 
tains until he abandons the young sticklebacks 
to shilt for themselves. 

In nature the male stickleback always selects 
material for his nest that is in keeping and 




harmony with the surroundings. This is a 
wise precaution tor masking the contents of the 
nest from other fish, particularly the stickle- 
backs, who are very fond of fish eggs. 

The following description by one of our 
friends will assist you when about to establish 
a "sticklebackery " without being in possession 
of a regular aquarium tank : 

" Up in the hay loft was a box of window 
glass. Taking a number of panes ot glass, I 

formed in a wash- 
tub a series ot 
compartments in 
the f o 1 1 o w i n g 
manner: From 
the centre of the 
tub the panes of 
glass radiated un- 
til they came in 
close contact with 
the sides of the 
tub, thus forming 
a series of acute 
angles ; the bot- 
tom edges of the 
glass were then 
crowded down 
through the three inches of sand till they rested 
on the bottom of the tub. In the apexes of the 
angles bunches of water plants were planted ; 
this also helped to sustain the glass compart- 
ments, as well as to keep up thorough oxygen- 
ation of the water. In each compartment I 
placed a pair of sticklebacks, giving them a 
meal of angle worms before leaving them for 
the night. Next morning when I examined 
the tub, to my great surprise many nests had 
been made during the night. In some of them 
the bright yellow eggs showed plainly through 
the openings of the nest. Every nest was vig- 
orously ventilated by the male fish, who were 
hard at work fanning a current of water on 
them with their pectoral fins. In one compart 



NATURE'S REALM. 



'53 



ment a male fish was tearing off small pieces 
of conferva; that grew on the water plants, 
which he carried in his mouth to the nest, 
packing it down with his snout. After placing 
several mouthfuls in this way he fastened the 
pieces together more compactly by pressing 
them down with the under side of his body, at 
the same time exuding a marine glue, so to 
speak, that cemented all together. In the cen- 
tre and on the top of each nest were four ori- 
fices, and into these the male, after a consider- 
able display of anger and much labor, at last 
drove the female, her head projecting far 
enough out to allow her to breathe. A lew- 
minutes later the male drove her out of the 
nest again, head first, and entered himself, 
passing over the eggs in the same direction 
the female had, and fertilized them by spread- 
ing his milt over them. In an instant he was 
out, flashing all over with blue, green and 
orange, his eyes looking like small turquoises. 
When the openings of the nest became too 
large, he contracted them by patching on more 
conferva;. Over the nest he remained day and 
night, changing from one opening to another, 
constantly fanning a current of water through 



them. Whenever poor Mrs. Stickleback 
showed herself her mate drove at her fiercely, 
biting her until she was glad to hide among 
the water plants. The trouble was that she 
would have eaten all the eggs if she had had a 
chance, and he knew it. For this reason I 
took all the females out as soon as they had 
deposited their eggs. As each nest was com- 
pleted and the eggs deposited I withdrew the 
glass partitions, but a terrible battle taking 
place between the males, I had to replace.them. 
Even then they would try to fight each other 
through the glass. When all the eggs were 
hatched, and the bottom of each compartment 
seemed alive with young sticklebacks, I re- 
moved all the male fish and glass partitions, 
and in a few weeks was the happy possessor of 
a large school of inquisitive, restless, baby 
sticklebacks." 

To jhis we add, from our own experience, 
that all the females, after depositing their eggs, 
refused to eat chopped earth worms, on which 
we used to feed them, and died in one or two 
days after. The young fish made their ap- 
pearance twelve days after the eggs were de- 
posited. 



BIRD SONGS AND VERNAL SOUNDS. 

By Isaac McLeli.an. 

O'er Nature's realm what mellow tones salute 

The listening ear in field and wood and sky '. 

Sit thou on mossy bank, by rippling stream, 

And note the varied melodies that rise. 

The brook itself hath harmonies of its own, 

Whispering o'er sands or hoarse o'er pebbly bed. 

Enjoy the solitude that Nature holds 

And view all pictures of the natural world ! 

See on yon rock a speckled turtle basks, 

Or slips with sluggish motion to the wave ; 

The birds swing merrily on the bending spray, 

Or to their fledglings speed os fluttering wings ; 

The water snakes glide leisurely o'er the stream, 

The grasshopper springs snappingly o'er the grass, 

The cricket chirps its never-ending cry, 

The marsh frogs pipe their shrill, perpetual chime ; 

Listening we catch the distant sound of bells, 

And in deep woods the sharp report of gun, 

The blast of horn, the cracking of the whip, 

As the keen riders hunt the deer or fox, 

The catties' bellow in the upland fields, 

The bark of dog, the crowing of the cock, 

While the soft rustles of the billowy grain 

Melt on the ear in tenderest cadence. 

Sweeter than all these rural, pleasant sounds, 
Are songs of tuneful birds in liquid choir ; 
Of all created things those minstrel tribes 
Are blithest, happiest children of the air '. 
Whether in circlings high, in airy flight, 
Or poising on the topmost twig of tree, 
Trilling their clarion song in morning air, 
It seems embodiment of boundless joy ; 
Freed from all stern calamity and care, 
Perpetual youth its birthright seems to be. 
Age may not stiffen those elastic wings, 
Nor change the joyous, overflowing song, 
To melancholy plaint or mournful note ! 
Blithest of birds, yet not sweet birds of song, 
Are swallow tribes, glad harbingers of spring, 
Yet have they many chirpings in their flight, 
Darting o'er farmer's roof or harvest field ; 
Prospects of spring time, they enjoy a life 
Of merriment 'midst Nature's fairest scenes ; 
Winter to them is all an unbroken time, 
For they forsake in autumn our brown fields 
To seek the myrtle and wide orange groves 
Of some fair region of far Florida ; 
With the spring flowers they haste to us on wing, 
And with the early frosts their farewell take. 



NOTES AND QUERIES. 



[Under this Department Heading queries relative to 

Tenacity of Life in Animals. 

The lower we descend in the scale ot animal 
life the more deficient we find those organs 
which, combined, form the monad and man, 
yet in all cases these creatures are formed cor- 
rectly for the life they lead. In no case, ex- 
cepting the abnormal ones, are their powers of 
perception and action inadequate to their man- 
ner of existence. 

I made some experiments relative to the de- 
grees of tenacity of animal life in the lower 
vertebrates, as well as insects, etc., and was 
surprised to learn to what a wonderful extent 
of injury these creatures may be subjected 
without totally destroying their vitality. 

A beetle of the large snapping species [Elater 
oculatus, L.) was quite active twenty-four 
hours after decapitation ; a wasp was alive 
eight days impaled on a pin. It is generally 
supposed that bees die after losing their stings, 
but this is not always so, as one which stung 
me arid left its poisonous javelin in my skin 
was carefully attended and did not seem badly 
crippled, but fed on the pollen of cherry blos- 
soms. It was agreeable to find that the indus- 
trious insect did not reacquire its means of de- 
fense while in my possession. 

Spiders cannot only survive the loss of at 
least four legs at once from their set of eight, 
but will be supplied with new legs in place of 
those torn off. 

The tenacity of life in reptiles is proverbial, 
and particularly is this noticeable in the turtle 
class. I can attest to the following case : A 
turtle, known as the snapper (Chelydra ser- 
pentina), was decapitated preparatory to mak- 
ing him into soup, an agreeable dish, when a 
few experiments were tried on him. His legs 
were going in the swimming movements con- 
stantly, and he would walk off briskly on land 
when a live coal was dropped on his back, after 
the manner cruelly followed sometimes on live 
turtles. His jaws would open and contract, 
and at last the trial was made to let the dis- 



all branches of Natural History will be answered.] 

severed head bite the long tail, after which the 
body was placed in the water, and we had the 
peculiar spectacle of a turtle swimming off as 
in life, almost, with the rigid jaws of the head 
strongly gripping the tail. From some natural 
cause, call it instinctive, if you will, the legs 
took him rapidly into deep water and we lost 
him. 

I know of a massasauga, or the common 
prairie rattlesnake (Crotalopliorous tergemi- 
nus), which was kept in captivity for over three 
months, during which time it never ate a thing, 
although it was ofiered food. This poisonous 
specimen was freely experimented with, and 
was forced to use its venom on small mammals 
weekly, yet it lived through its bondage and 
finally escaped. 

It should not be understood that these ven- 
tilations were made with a view to producing 
pain. On the contrary, pain is but little felt by 
the lower animals. 



Nisi BUILDING FISHES. 

It is generally supposed that fishes take no 
care whatever of their young, leaving them en- 
tirely to the attention of nature ; but the fact is 
much otherwise with many species. The most 
remarkable point, however, regarding certain 
fishes is, that the males do the care-taking and 
not the females. 

If you will go out any time during the month 
of August, in this latitude, you will see in 
streams and ponds big catfish of the common 
sort, each one accompanied by a swarm of 
small fry. In each case the old one is a male 
and he is engaged in taking care of his off- 
spring. If an intruder comes near he will dash 
at him and drive him away. 

It has been known for a long while that cat- 
fishes had this way of guarding their young ; 
but only lately has it been ascertained that it 
was the papa fish which did the care-taking. 

Some time back there was a pair of catfish 
in one of the aquaria at the building of the Fish 



156 



NATURE'S REALM. 



Commission, in Washington. At spawning 
time eggs were laid and one of the parents kept 
watch over them, not permitting the other to 
come near. The young were duly hatched and 
thrived, being cared for in this way until they 
were big enough to look out for themselves. 

In their native ponds and brooks you will find 
large broods of young catfish as big as three- 
fourths of an inch in length remaining together 
in schools, each school accompanied by the 
male. Sometimes the latter will swim slowly 
along in the centre of the young ones and at 
other times alongside. 

In laying their eggs, the parent catfishes se- 
lect a spot where the water is quiet, if possible 
protected by aquatic plants, and there they 
make a nest, perhaps eight inches by six, in- 
cluding the spawn. 

The nest has a soft outer envelope, and over 
it the male hovers, forcing fresh water through 
the mass by»rapid vibrations of his fins, until 
after about a week they are hatched. 

Sometimes the male catfish takes care of its 
young in a still more peculiar manner. There 
is a kind found in the sea, the eggs laid by 
which are as large as a small bullet. These 
eggs are found in the mouths of the male, which 
do this to protect them. 

After the eggs are laid, the parent catfish 
takes them into his mouth and keeps them 
there until they are all hatched, when they go 
out and take care of themselves. 

But this method is not confined to the cat- 
fishes. There are found in Africa and South 
Africa a species which resemble the sunfish of 
our own streams. These " cichlids," as they 
are called, are also plentiful in Texas and Pal- 
estine. They are often found with their cheeks 
fairly bulging with young. 

In the Sea of Galilee the cichlids are so num- 
erous that the miraculous catch of the time 
when St. Peter fished there might be repeated 
any day, it being the manner of these fishes to 
move about on the top of the water in solid 
masses, covering many square yards and mak- 
ing a noise like that of rain pouring. 



taining a specimen ot the quaint and almost 
extinct kibi bird. This bird is somewhat like 
an ostrich, but only the size of a crow ; it has 
no wings at all, and is covered with fur-like, 
short striped feathers. Another peculiarity 
about the kibi is the fact that its egg is larger 
than one-third of its body. He also succeeded 
in bringing home some Maori skulls, which 
are difficult to obtain on account of the manner 
in which the natives bury their dead. When 
the bodies have been so long in the ground 
that all the flesh has fallen from the skeleton, 
they unearth them and carry them into the in- 
terior of the forests, where they are deposited 
in natural caves, which are very difficult to 
find. Anybody discovered with one is sure to 
be killed. 



The Kibi — Maori Skulls. 
During a visit to New Zealand Dr. Fristedi, 
says Galignani's Messinger, succeeded in ob-. 



A Large Sunfish. 

An immense sunfish was recently captured 
near St. Augustine, Florida, which I had the 
pleasure of examining. It was estimated as 
weighing 600 lbs., but was probably a hundred 
pounds lighter. The following dimensions will 
give an idea of its great size : Extreme length, 
8 feet and 2 inches ; depth from tip of dorsal 
fin to tip of anal, 9 feet 9 inches ; the dorsal fin 
measured 40 inches in length. The mouth was 
very small and provided with two teeth* on 
each of the jaws in front, somewhat resembling 
the teeth of the rodent mammals. The skin 
was thick, rough, leathern and elastic, without 
bony plates and resembled the skin of some 
salt water dog fishes. Dorsal fin beginning not 
far back of pectorals is short and high. Xo 
large spines on the body. 

This strange fish is the sunfish, headfish or 
mola (Mola rutunda, Cuv.), and belongs to 
the family Orthagoriscidcc. It was included 
formerly in the family Diodontidce, meaning 
two-toothed, from the arrangement of the teeth. 
The word mola means millstone, and is given 
from the shape of the fish. The body is much 
compressed laterally ; giving it greatly the ap- 
pearance of our common sunny, Lcpomus ot 
the north. The Diodon, porcupine fishes, are 
not far removed from this fish, although differ- 

* Or, perhaps more properly, one tooth divides apparently 
at the median line by a suture. 



NATURE'S REALM. 



157 



ing so much in external appearance. The sea 
sunfish is not provided with an apparatus 
which can be used as an inflating machine. 

M. G. 



Coquixa Rock. 

This peculiar conglomerate is almost entirely 
composed of shells. In many instances the 
shells are in a nearly perfect condition, but 
generally the conglomeration is a mass of dis- 
integrated substance ; sand, gravel and crushed 
shells, held together by Nature's cement of the 
long ago, and which is not now manufactured. 
In many parts of Florida this rock is to be 
found plentifully about the coast and, to an ex- 
tent, inland. The buildings of the early settle- 
ments were composed of coquina, and about 
St. Augustine many still remain as evidence ot 
Spanish enterprise. Old Fort Marion, which 
was begun as early as 1568, is a massive struc- 
ture, made entirely of this rock. 

At Eau Gallie, on Indian River, a condition 
exists which has not as yet been satisfactorily 
explained. The bottom near the shore is ot 
coquina rock and for a long distance perfora- 
tions may be seen beneath the surface of the 
water, and at times the water forms in little 
eddies over these minature wells. They vary- 
in diameter from six to eighteen inches and ex- 
tend down to quite a distance. 

Much speculation has resulted from the find- 
ing of these singular shafts, but the most 
reasonable theory is, that they are places left 
vacant by decomposed palmettos which were 
once growing on dry ground. The land sunk 
and was finally encroached upon by the sea ; in 
due time the sand, gravel and disintegrated 
shell substance was borne in by the action ol 
the waves filling the space between the trees, 
and to a depth differing in various localities. 
It is well known that the cabbage palmetto is 
very serviceable used as a pile, being employed 
almost universally for that purpose in Florida, 
as it will withstand salt water action for a long 
time. 

After a certain time Nature completed the 
work of solidification by means of her cement, 
and at last the decomposed trunks were en- 
tirely removed by the action of the waves, thus 



giving the singular appearance ol these cylin- 
drical spaces. 

That this theory is correct seems more prob- 
able from the fact that, in some sections, evi- 
dently formed by the action of Nature, the 
same holes are observed above the water line 
as are seen beneath the surface. The coast of 
the State has had several upheavals and sub- 
sidances and some scientists have demonstrated 
as many as five. G. 



How Snakes Swallow Fish. 
In answer to Morris Gibbs, in the American 
Angler of March 14th, I would say that I have 
observed water snakes swallow fishes when in 
a wild state and when in confinement, and 
never saw one taken down other than head 
first. The reptile will generally seize the fish 
near the middle, crosswise, and after holding 
it until it ceases struggling, turn it and swallow 
it by throwing first one side of the upper jaw 
forward, getting a hold with its teeth, then 
bringing that side back while the other side is 
thrown forward and a hold secured by that 
side, and so on. I conclude that the upper jaw 
is articulated in the centre in the species which 
I observed, but I neglected to make an exami- 
nation to settle the matter. J. J. S. 



Cats Affected by Feeding on Scallops. 

Will you kindly inform me whether there is any truth in the 
assertion that a cat's ears are affected by a diet of scallops ? 
On I-ong Island, and in other localities where scallops are 
plentiful, the cats belonging to persons engaged in fishing are 
all affected by a peculiar skin disease almost invariably affect- 
ing the ears. The affection is called cat leprosy by many, as 
it results in the withering and ultimate entire wasting away of 
the, ears. Please inform us as to the nature of this feline dis- 
order, and if it comes from eating si allops. £ 

We are compelled to refer this query to our 
Long Island naturalists. An affirmative an- 
swer would probably be correct in a general 
way, as the health of all animals are affected, 
more or less, by their diet, and in this special 
case disease may be developed. 



Si 1 many inquiries have come to us relative to the Hamp- 
shire Hills, prompted, no doubt, by Mr HaUock'a paper in our 
March numbrr, that we depart troin mir usual practice ami 

refer the parties editorially to tin- advertisement "t " S ummer 

Homes" in that section, on advertising page III. ot this issue. 



l 5 b 



\ A TURKS REALM. 



The Flight of Birds. 
The " soaring of birds," in my estimation, is 
effected by more than balance of wings, tail 
and feathers. It is effected more or less, at 
times, by the "spiral ringing flight." This is 
hardly perceptible in space, but, nevertheless, 
takes place, more or less. There must be some 
slight ringing, to keep the sails full of air or 
wind, writes a correspondent of Land and 
Water. In the case of falcons following the 
heron, we see this done at a great pace. We 
get down wind of the heronry, and wait the re- 
turn of the heron coming up wind to it. We 
then loose a pair of falcons, and the sport com- 
mences when we see the heron returning. 
Having singled out one, the heron, on seeing 
the hawks, mounts at once by "ringing," first 
having emptied its "bread-basket " of eels and 
frogs, which are seen coming down out of their 
unnatural element. When the heron has light- 
ened herself up she goes at great pace, having 
thus emptied her crop, and the falcons, by a 
spiral flight, at the same time ringing and 
soaring in different directions, get eventually 
above the soaring quarry, which rises between 
them, all three birds taking different directions, 
until eventually the stronger birds get above 
the heron. Without this spiral course the 
hawks could not go faster than the soaring 
heron, which in space appears simply mounting 
slowly, but in reality is going up at great pace. 
Distance and pace are two impossible problems 
to solve overhead in an uninterrupted sky 
where there is nothing to give the eye a chance 
of guessing what movement, if slight, a bird is 
making. The motion, unless in such a case as 
the chase of the heron, being very frequently 
in various birds, such as kestrels, eagles, etc., 
not distinguishable, with the exception of the 
ringing flight, which is always mounting or 
circling to keep the wings full of wind to sail, 
whatever pace they require to go. When the 
hawks get above the heron sufficiently high to 
strike, having got their wind, the first one 
ready strikes down at her at the rate of 150 
miles an hour, it high enough ; but if not high 
enough, the pace is not so fast, and, according 
to powers of mounting, the value of the stoop 
is seen ; for when the first hawk misses, the 
other one is mounting to have its turn, and it 



is generally the best hawk that takes its time, 
and does not strike until in perfect command 
of the flight. But many a time in hawking, 
"light herons" (that is, herons going out to 
feed), the hawks have to stoop and stoop, and 
often get beaten, unless the country is open, 
with no trees or water in the way. The soar- 
ing motion is at times, therefore, impossible to 
detect when birds are amusing themselves, but, 
nevertheless, it is there, although not perceived 
at times ; and at other times the slightest use 
of the turn of the wing upward is only seen 
with the strongest glass when the bird is " ring- 
ing slowly "in a "spiral flight." Without some 
such ringing motion a bird would not do more 
than a kite without a string to hold it steady; it 
would disappear with the wind, unless able to 
keep itself " cutting " the wind by the most sci- 
entific steering we have ever seen, without the 
smallest perceptible jerk or motion. 



Showers of Fishes. 

In a back number of the American Angler 
(I forget the date) I saw an article in regard to 
showers offish that have been seen to tall from 
the clouds, or somewhere from the upper re- 
gions. The writer gave his theories as to how 
the fish became thus elevated, one of which 
was that the eggs were carried there on the 
wings ot birds and hatched out in the upper 
strata of the atmosphere. I never saw one 
of these remarkable phenomena, but I have 
seen the ground literally covered with angle 
worms after a shower, and heard people say 
that they rained down from the clouds, but it 
they had observed closely they would have 
seen them coming lrom the ground. Now an 
ancrle worm and a fish are not closely related 
only when the fish has the worm in its mouth. 
I am so sure that angle worms do not rain 
down that I will venture to make the assertion 
that they do nothing of the kind. Would it not 
be a much more plausible theory that these 
fish were sucked up in a waterspout from some 
body of water and carried along by the wind 
until deposited somewhere on the land. As to 
their being hatched in unknown space above 
looks very absurd. XX. 



NATURE'S REALM. 



'59 



Fish Breeding in the Clouds. 
I observe a reference made in the American 
Angler of the 31st January last touching upon 
showers of fishes, in which it states that science 
has not yet fully explained the phenomena. 
This is perhaps slightly incorrect. Several 
causes have been suggested. Might it not very 
probably be that fish and frogs which fall ap- 
parently from the skies are really bred there ? 
Water fowl, it is known, very frequently carry- 
eggs of fish to great distances, having swal- 
lowed them, and in their flight disgorging the 
same unharmed where they can and do fructify 
and mature in water over which these birds 
pass. The eggs of many old fish are very glu- 
tinous and readily adhere to substances brought 
in contact with them during particular times of 
their incubation. Is it not very probable that 
not only do these birds convey ova upon their 
wings as well as in their crops, and when Hy- 
ing at great heights the ova, becoming de- 
tached from the wings, may remain suspended 
in the moist atmosphere, which is quite possi- 
ble under certain conditions of atmospherical 
pressure, and that when under development 
they become too heavy and naturally fall to the 
earth, as frequently witnessed ? When we 
consider the heavy scoria; from volcanoes, 
which is upheld for months at similar altitudes, 
we cannot but give some credence to such a 
theory as the above. 

Could not some of your readers enlighten us 
still more upon a topic which must be of inter- 
est to all anglers ? — " G. B." in American „ tn- 
gler. 



Dead Alewives in Lake Ontario. 

A friend of mine a naval officer who is connected with the 
lighthouse establishment] mentioned in my hearing recently 
that he had often noticed a species of fish in Lake Ontario 
which, from his description, appears to resemble the cisco or 
herring, and at certain seasons of the year (he latter part ol 
August, I believe) it would appear in large schools, and fre- 
quently individuals would come to the surface, go through .1 
series of contortions, and finally float on the Surface dead 
This occurred in different localities, so that the cause could 
not be ascribed to poison. Are you familiar with this, to me, 
curious demonstration; and, if so, what is it '.' (,'. T. 

The fish referred to are alewives, called by 
the local fishermen " sawbellies." Their death 
is generally attributed to starvation, arising 
lrom the gathering of them in such immense 



schools that their food supply is exhausted and 
death ensues. They are found in all parts ol 
Lake Ontario and in some of the inland lakes, 
and it seems to be somewhat a mystery as to 
the manner by which they reach these waters, 
being originally, at least, strictly a salt-water 
fish. They make excellent food for the large 
lake fish, as they seldom grow larger than six 
or eight inches. 

Notes on The Manatee or Sea-Cow. 

• 

The manatee, or sea-cow, is becoming grad- 
ually extinct in 'America. One species which 
was confined to the Arctic seas and most plen- 
tiful about Kamschatka, Alaska, has, it is said, 
become extinct, and it is even claimed that it 
has not been captured in this century. The 
only specimen in America is now confined to 
the Florida coast and south to the Amazon. 
Along the Indian River- the species was form- 
erly common and is still occasionally seen. 
Owing to the fact that it inhabits salt water and 
comparatively open places it is easily fol- 
lowed and taken. I am informed that it pre- 
fers lagoons and the mouths of rivers, where it 
teeds on the vegetation growing in the water ; 
the usual species of grass or seaweed preferred 
being known as manatee grass. This aquatic 
grass grows on the bottom of brackish rivers 
and in the edges of the sea. The manatee 
(7'ric/iec/ius manatus) resembles somewhat in 
conformation the dolphin or whale. It is not a 
fish, but a mammal, and bears young, which it 
suckles as does the whale. Its flippers and 
tail make its skeleton in general appearance 
like the whale, but its skull is of a decidedly 
different form, and the brain cavity is much 
larger proportionately, showing a higher de- 
velopment. 

Manatees are occasionally taken alive and 
sometimes exhibited in captivity. The reason 
that this species is not exhibited in traveling 
shows of the North is that the animal cannot 
stand the northern climate — in addition to 
which the selection of food is a difficult matter. 
Ii has lately been discovered that the manatee 



* 'Hie Indian River is simply a lagoon ol -.ill « .iter separated 
from the Atlantic by a narrow strip of land over one hundred 
and fifty miles long. 



i6o 



NATURE'S REALM. 



is quite partial to common larvae grass of the 
North, and it is expected that the sea-cow will 
occasionally make summer excursions to the 
northern United States outside of large city 
museums. 

One which was captured in Florida last April 
was taken to St. Augustine, far north of its 
usual habitat, and placed in a tank and care- 
fully tended in the museum of Dr. J. Yedders. 
He quickly learned that the animal preferred 
green cabbages to all the food offered it. This 
constituted the fare while in captivity, and the 
quantity of cabbages consumed in comparison 
to the size of the animal was really very small. 
Just at the time when the tourist season began, 
the manatee sickened and died, leaving its 
owner in the hole, so to speak, for the vegeta- 
bles from April to December and no returns. 
This specimen was over nine feet long and 
weighed about six hundred pounds. 



My friend, Capt. John Baird, who sails the 
length of Florida and around to Honduras, in- 
forms me that he frequently met with manatees 
from Yucatan southward, and that they grow 
to a length of fifteen feet and quite 2,000 
pounds in weight. The flesh is said to be ex- 
cellent, much like beef, coarse, yet very tender. 
Unlike the whale, which floats when dead, the 
manatee sinks when killed, and is frequently 
lost when struck. It is a harmless creature, 
never taking the aggressive, and feeding wholly 
on vegetable growth. 

It bears one young at a time, which is nour- 
ished from mammal on the breast as in the 
monkey and bat tribes. Stories regarding the 
delusive mermaids are said to often take their 
rise from ignorant and superstitious persons 
only half observing this creature and drawing 
conclusions without foundations. G. 



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Z^ Popular Natural History. 



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CONTENTS 



Physiognomy of Indians. .. .R »'. Shu/eltit, M. D.. C M. Z S.et< 
Beneficial Association Amonp Plants and Animals, 

George James Peirce 

Ode to the Laurel M. B. M. Toian,/ 

Killarney and When to See It T. O. Russell 

The Habits of the Loon Dr. Morris CM:' 

Familiar Rural Sounds Arthur F. Rice 

Florida Shell Heaps Scolofia.r 

At Calico Camp Robert Curzon 

Professor Joe — A Story of the Sioux Samuel Parker 

The Aquarium Conducted by Hugo Mulerl: 

My Aquarium of Black Bass, etc George Kampe* 



NOTES AND QUERIES. 

A Spider Whirling a Fly A Remarkable Fig Tree. 

The Tame Crow The Aristocratic Malamauk 

\ D.-.ul Bird. From Fry to Yearlings 

Sundry Notes. 



PI'RI.ISHPn BV 

THE HARRIS PUBLISHING CO.. 

10 Warrp.n' St Nfu York 
SUBSCRIPTION PRICE. • • $? 00 PER ANNUM 



NATURE'S REALM. 



Vol. II. 



MAY, 1 891. 



NO. 5. 



PHYSIOGNOMY OF INDIANS. 



By R. \V. Shifeldt, M. D 
[Member Anthropological Society oi Florence, Italy, and 

Mr. Emerson was a physiognomist of no 
mean calibre, and his powers of discernment 
in such matters were excellent ; nor did he en- 
tirely ignore the more truthful chapters given 
us in the works of the phrenologist. In his 
" Conduct of Life " he tells us that " A dome of 
brow denotes one thing ; a pot-belly another ; 
a squint, a pug-nose, mats ot hair, the pigment 
of the epidermis, betray character. People 
seem sheathed in their tough organization. 
Ask Spurzheim, ask the doctors, ask Ouetelet, 
if temperaments decide nothing, or if there be 
anything they do not decide. Read the de- 
scription in medical books of the four temper- 
aments, and you will think you are reading 
your own thoughts which you had not yet 
told." * * * "At the corner of the street 
you read the possibility of each passenger in 
the facial angle, in the complexion, in the depth 
of his eye." * * * "The military eye I 
meet, now darkly sparkling under clerical, now 
under rustic brows. Tis the city of Lacedaj- 
mon ; 'tis a stack of bayonets. There are ask- 
ing eyes, asserting eyes, prowling eyes, and 
eyes full of fate — some of good and some ot 
sinister omen." And further along in the same 
worthy work he remarks : " A man finds room 
in the few square inches of the face for the 
traits of all his ancestors, for the expression of 
all his history and his wants." * * * "The 
sculptor, and Winckelmann, and Levator, 
will tell you how significant a feature is the 
nose ; how its forms express strength or weak- 
ness of will, and good or bad temper. The 
nose of Julius Catsar, of Dante and of Pitt sug- 
gest ' the terrors of the beak.' What refine- 



. C. M. Z. 8., Etc., Etc. 

the Anthropological Society of Washington, D. C, etc.] 

ment and what limitations the teeth betray i 

All this and much more besides by the same- 
subtle thinker may be observed in our every- 
day studies of physiognomy. But Emerson 
probably had only the Indo-European in his 
mind when he wrote what we have quoted 
from him. His words will apply with quite as 
much truth, however, to the members of any 
race, and they apply, as we shall soon see, 
with especial force to the Indian. When I say 
the Indian I mean any of our North American 
Indians. There is quite as much diversity ot 
character among the individuals that represent 
the various tribes of those people as there is to 
be found among the whites or Indo-Europeans. 
And, as character determines cast of counte- 
nance, we find an equally diversified physiog- 
nomy among them. Some Indians show in, 
their faces more or less intelligence, honesty 
of purpose, good nature and eveness of tem- 
per ; others, the moment they look at us, repel 
and revolt, for their features bear alone the 
impress of cunning, cruelty and savage de- 
pravity. Among the tribes in the Southwest,, 
where they enjoy a sort of crude form of civili- 
zation of their own, which has long existed, the 
physiognomy in many cases becomes still more 
distinctive. Here other factors come into play 
to help mould the countenance and to insure 
its inheritance. Not only has the periodical 
conduction of war and all that war means, for 
generations, had its influence in this way, but 
to this element must be added others. 

For instance, many of the Navajos exhibit a 
genuine taste for the accumulation of wealth 
and worldly goods. Numbers of them are rich 



l62 



NATURES REALM. 



in the possession of great herds of sheep, and 
they have a very fair understanding of the value 
of money and its advantages. 

The elements of their civilization and the 
Impress of our own civilization have no doubt 
produced their effects, and where such factors 
are most actively at work, and have been ap- 
plied the greatest length of time, there can be 
no question that the Indian character has been 
influenced by those means, and in certain in- 
stances we may detect it in their physiognomy. 

Those who have ever compared the features 
of typical representatives of the sedentary In- 
dians with the physiognomic characters as pre- 
sented in the countenances of similar individ- 
uals among the field tribes, cannot fail to have 
seen the marked differences. People who have 
lived for ages as have the Moquis and Zunis in 
their peculiar, semi-civilized state, must of ne- 
cessity in time produce a very different appear- 
ing class of men as compared with individuals 
selected from such tribes as the Navajos, al- 
ready mentioned, or from the even still fiercer 
Apaches. 

As illustrating what I have thus far said I am 
enabled to present in the present connection 
the portraits of three very well-known and dis- 
tinguished Indians, the chiefs of as many tribes 
in New Mexico and Arizona. The first of these 
(Fig. i) is Mariano, the chief of the Navajos, 
an Indian that I knew personally very well in- 
deed for a number of years. The second is 
Paliwahtiwa, the Governor of Zuni, a man of 
■very pronounced characteristics — a person 
whom I met a number of times, and conse- 
quently knew but slightly. Mr. Cushing took 
Paliwahtiwa east on his tour through New En- 
gland and the Middle States, where his digni- 
fied appearance and carnage at once impressed 
all those who met him. Finally I present the 
portrait of Ga-ten-eh, the head chief pi the 
Warm Spring Apaches, and the successor to 
that unconquerable savage, Victoria, in 1887. 
His wife and little girl figure in the same plate, 
and it would be hard indeed to find anywhere 
an Indian woman with the unmistakable facial 
indications of a cruel and savage character 
more distinctly marked. I will guarantee the 
scalping-knife is not a stranger to her hand, 
and it may be depended upon that she knows 
how to use it. 



Even to the casual observer a comparative 
study of the features of these three noted In- 
dian chiefs cannot fail to be an instructive one. 
Many of the characteristic traits of Mariano 
are clearly defined in his features. He is a 
firm, brave, as well as a shrewd man. Cun- 
ning to a fault, clear-headed, good-natured, and 
with it all markedly diplomatic for an Indian in 
all his transactions either with other tribes or 
with the whites. On several occasions when I 
was present at an interview between this chief 
and the commanding officer of Fort Wingate, 
New Mexico, called forth by some trouble be- 
tween the Navajos and ranchmen or soldiers, I 
was forced to admire the skill with which Ma- 
riano presented the case in question and con- 
ducted the argument for his side. A number 
of times men had been killed on both sides, and 
an outbreak of those Indians would have surely 
resulted had it not been for the wise conduction 
of the affair in the hands of Mariano, and his 
power in the council to control his excited peo- 
ple. He is a Navajo, and a true field Indian 
through and through. Full ot common-sense 
Indian philosophy ; the owner of many sheep ; 
no lover of the Zunis ; simple in his habits, 
though fond of gambling ; and finally, well 
schooled in the traditional myths and history 
of his tribe. 

What an entirely different visage are we 
called upon to behold in the case of Paliwah- 
tiwa, Governor of Zuni. He is a splendid and 
a typical representative of a sedentary tribe of 
Indians, a folk that for so many generations 
have lived huddled together, the life of the 
Pueblos and all that that means. The Zunis 
are practically the remnant of a nation, and, I 
think, as compared with the Navajos, a non- 
progressive one. To some extent they are a 
romantic, almost a poetic people, and tenacious 
of the myths of their ancestors. Naturally 
their tastes for agricultural pursuits have been 
more pronounced than in the case of the Nava- 
jos, the more warlike tribe, and their commo- 
dious stone and plaster houses have inclined 
them more toward home life and a love for the 
domestic. Living so much massed together 
and in such durable structures, has also 
brought with it a certain ever-present sense of 
security from the attacks of outsiders. This 
also has had its influence, and such traits as 




r 



Mariano, Chisf of the Na\ 



1 64 



NATURE'S REALM. 



military tact and cunning have retrograded in 
consequence, and we see not a trace of any 
such power in the face of Paliwahtiwa; nor do 
we see there a sign of cruelty, as his counte- 
nance is a markedly benign one for an Indian 
of whatsoever tribe, and indeed there is much 
expressed in it that would incline to draw us 
toward the man. We would not be mistaken 
in him, as he has an eminently kindly nature, 
and both a personal and national history to tell 
that is pregnant with ethnological interest. 

Paliwahtiwa's sedate visage is by no means 
lacking in intelligence, and for a Zufiian he 
possesses no mean grade of it. 

The two chiefs thus far noticed are men ot 
about the same age, either being between sixty 
and seventy years old. I desire now, however, 
to invite attention to the physiognomy of a 
much younger man, and one which clearly 
shows in it all the traits of the tribe to which 
he belongs, that is, the Apaches. 

Ga-ten-eh in 1887, as I have already said, 
succeeded the well-known Apache chief, Vic- 
toria, as the leader of the dreaded Warm Spring 
Apaches. We find little or nothing in the face 
of this man that in any way reminds us of the 
physiognomic characters as we observed them 
in the faces of either the governor of Zufii or 
the chief of the Navajos. Although the Apa- 
ches are skilled in many of the simpler arts and 
industries as we find them among the Indians 
of the Southwest, we sum up the general char- 
acters of this tribe when we say they are a 
fierce, warlike, cruel, and, in many instances, a 
brave people. Whatever claims they may have 
to intelligence, that character is rarely exhibited 
in their physiognomy ; indeed, their faces ex- 
press but little more than their predominating 
traits, and therein cunning and cruelty over- 
shadow all else. Ga-ten-eh typifies this cast 
of countenance, and in his visage we see but 
the index of a man to be dreaded, and one not 
to be trusted. His cruel, unrelenting eyes be- 
speak his savage nature ; standing between 
them is his sharp, aquiline nose, having all the 
significance of the beak of the falcon, while 
below are the thin lips of a mouth fully capable 
of laughing at any form of human torture that 



its possessor may see fit to mete out to his 
captive victims. 

So far as his general character is concerned, 
I find nothing to add or to say in favor of this 
crafty, untamed and turbulent barbarian. Both 
he and the tribe from whence he comes long 
checked the progress of Indo-European civiliza- 
tion in Arizona, and in that country the Apa- 
ches, as we know', upon more occasions than 
one, nearly exterminated the early pioneer set- 
tlers. 

Thus it will be seen that individual Indians 
not only possess all the various forms of tem- 
perament known to us, but also exhibit every 
imaginable type of character, and they may . 
be specialized by well-defined and dominant 
tribal peculiarities. The recognition of these 
facts should be a guide to us in a rational hand- 
ling of these savage people in the future. In 
attempting to assimilate them to our civiliza- 
tion, the most we can hope for is to bring about 
a species of taming. Above all we should, as 
far as possible, consult their individual tastes, 
and this is the key to their reconciliation in 
adopting pursuits so utterly different from any- 
thing they have been accustomed to for ages 
and generations past. It is not in the course 
ot reason, nor in the nature of things, to expect 
that they all care to become farmers, or those 
with strong agricultural tastes desire to become 
soldiers. Numbers of the Apaches could be 
organized and drilled as an Indian regiment, to 
be employed only against other tribes when the 
latter are insubordinate. This applies also to 
many of the Northern tribes. Many of the 
Pueblo Indians take naturally to agriculture, 
but those who have decided tastes in the man- 
ufacture of fabrics and pottery should be en- 
couraged in those arts and given better facil- 
ities than the crude appliances which alone 
they now command. Such views simply ex- 
press my convictions in the premises, and I 
must believe that a more careful study of In- 
dian character, a better appreciation ot certain 
anthropologic laws bearing upon the question 
as to what really constitutes civilization, and, 
finally, time, can alone adjust such important 
matters. 






*'-4>U 



**& 




l'.M JWAHTIWA, GOVUNOR 01 An[ 



BENEFICIAL ASSOCIATION AMONG PLANTS AND ANIMALS. 



By George James Peirce. 



For more than ten years the interest of biol- plants whose leaves are tender and succulent 
ogists has been held by those associations of are much more numerous than in temperate 



animals and plants which seem to benefit both 
the parties concerned. About this, as about 
all important questions, there has been much 
difference of opinion, much argument, much 
ridicule. 

It is a matter of no small significance to bot- 
anists and zoologists that organisms which, 
alone, would find it difficult to succeed in the 
struggle for existence, are able, by joining their 
efforts with those of other organisms of very 
different affinities, not only to survive, but also 
to attain a size and number far greater than 
their neighbors. 

To the late Anton De Bary, professor of bot- 
any at the University of Strasburg, we owe the 
introduction into the scientific vocabulary of 
the word symbiosis, which means "a living 
together." He urged that it should be used in 
addition to, or in place of, the word parasitism. 
In all cases of parasitism one organism lives 
wholly at the expense of another. When it be- 
came evident to the scientific world that there 
are organic associations which are not in their 
nature parasitic, the word symbiosis was ap- 
plied to these beneficial unions only. Thus, 
just as the new field for investigation was 
opened, a name was ready for it. 

That there should be mutual benefit associa- 
tions among lowly aquatic organisms is indeed 
remarkable, but it is still more wonderful that 
the elaborately differentiated organisms of the 
land should combine into similar associations. 
The object of all these associations is to im- 
prove the chances of both organisms in the 
struggle for existence. The aquatic organisms 
are associated in order to secure better food 
supplies; the land organisms combine for mu- 
tual protection against their enemies. 

Perhaps the most remarkable cases of symbi- 
osis, or beneficial parasitism, between animals 
and plants are afforded by certain ants and 
tropical trees. It is generally known that in 
the moist, fertile regions of the tropics, those 



climes. Various devices are resorted to by the 
plants in order to protect their foliage ; but of 
these devices the most noteworthy, and at the 
same time the most interesting, is the mainte- 
nance of a standing army of ants. 

Travelers tell us that it is not uncommon in 
the tropics to see a double line of ants stretch- 
ing from their hill, across an open space, and 
up some tree trunk. One-half the ants are 
toiling homeward under heavy burdens of leaf 
fragments ; the other half are hurrying toward 
the source of supply. 

The ants make a two-fold use of the leaves; 
they eat the soft, green parts ; they use the 
harder, woody parts, the veins and stalks, as 
the supporting columns of their hills. From 
such systematic labor more or less complete 
defoliation of the tree results. Against these 
marauders, therefore, some defense must be 
provided, and to this end certain plants are 
furnished with the means to attract, to hold 
and to impel honey-eating ants to fight for 
them. 

In tropical America there grows the tall, 
somewhat palm-like tree, called by the natives 
the Imbauba, and known to botanists as Cecro- 
pia adcnopus. It is rather slender ; its hollow 
stem, divided like the bamboo into chambers 
or joints, is crowned with large, tender leaves, 
which are very attractive to caterpillars and to 
leaf-cutting ants. The contour of the hollow 
stem is smooth and even, except that, just be- 
low each joint in the outer surface of the stem, 
there is a depression which corresponds with a 
similar depression of the inner surface. A thin 
place is thus formed ; so each chamber is sep- 
arated from the outside world by a wall that is 
thin only in one spot. Through the thin place 
friendly ants bore readily, and soon find them- 
selves in a cavity of considerable size. Within 
this chamber they establish a colony. The 
house grows with the number of its occupants, 
so that the whole colony is never obliged to> 




Ga-ten-eh, Head Chief of the Warm Spring Apaches, i68i. 



1 68 



NATURE'S REALM. 



seek larger quarters. In this way a perfect 
shelter, easy of access, is provided ready-made 
for the ants. 

The Imbauba furnishes food as well as lodg- 
ings to these ants. At the bases of the leaf 
stalks, amid clusters of hairs, are formed many 
small, egg-shaped, albuminous bodies. These 
are the solid food of the ants. Upon various 
parts of the tree there are glands which secrete 
nectar. All ants are extravagantly fond of 
honey, and they will get it wherever they can. 
Flowers are the commonest source of nectar, 
but its purpose in them is to attract the bees, 
butterflies, and even birds which transfer the 
pollen to the pistils, and so fertilize them. Ants 
•cannot fertilize most flowers, so their taking the 
nectar would be mere robbery. The floral 
nectaries must therefore be protected. This 
protection is effected by the feeding nectaries 
being situated between the flowers and the tree 
trunk. The ants get enough honey from these 
■extra floral nectaries to make them willing to 
let the others alone. 

Thus the friendly ants are supplied by the 
Imbauba with lodging, and both solid food and 
sweetmeats. Receiving both food and shelter 
without labor, they have nothing to do but 
fight. They fight on every possible occasion, 
and always vigorously and successfully. They 
attack not only leaf-cutting ants which seek 
supplies from the trees in which they live, but 
also the larger herbivorous animals. One can 
•easily imagine how disagreeable it would be for 
some browsing mammal to have its mouth fu- 
riously stung by a lot of ants which it had taken 
in with a mouthful of leaves. A few experi- 
ences of this sort would be sufficient to teach it 
to beware of garrisoned trees. 

That this defense is equally effective against 
men is shown by an incident which Mr. Belt, a 
traveler in Nicaragua, narrates. Mr. Belt says 
that he doubted that ants could drive off a man 
who was detei mined to climb an Imbauba. He 
therefore offered an Indian lad a small sum if 
he would climb one of the trees. The lad un- 
hesitatingly refused to try, and so Mr. Belt 
raised his price. Finally, after he had made 
what he thought was an extravagantly liberal 
offer, the boy consented to try. A tree of a size 
convenient for climbing was selected. The boy 



climbed well for fifteen feet or thereabouts, then 
he stopped, and in a moment dropped to the 
ground all covered with small fiery-red ants 
that were stinging him pitilessly. He could 
not rid himself of the cre.atures except by jump- 
ing into the stream near by. 

Other tropical trees maintain similar garri- 
sons, quartering them in thorns or other hollow 
parts. That these armies are indispensable to 
the perfect development of the trees is shown 
by the statements of Prof. Schimper, of Bonn, 
and confirmed by other travelers in Central and 
South America. Prof. Schimper says that, 
during his stay in tropical America, he made it 
one of his chief objects to find a well-grown 
Imbauba which had no ants in it. He failed to 
find a single tree. He did see, however, that 
unless the trees were garrisoned when they 
were very young, they fell an easy prey to their 
enemies. He found many young trees which 
were more or less bare of leaves. These had 
no ants in them. Other trees of equal age, 
which were tenanted, were apparently flour- 
ishing. 

Yet certain men of science say that it is fool- 
ish to believe that ants are ever provided by a 
tree with board and lodging in return for doing 
a little fighting for them once in a while. They 
say that, since the hollow places existed in the 
trees, the ants simply appropriated them, and 
that they would naturally object to an Indian 
lad shaking their nests down about their ears, 
or to a swarm of hostile ants scrambling about 
and chewing the leaves. 

They ask, also, if they themselves should be 
any better off if they had to feed a lot of hungry 
creatures. Yet in feudal times each petty 
baron fed and housed his retainers without 
complaining, just because they did a little 
fighting for him once in a while. We are living 
in a time when our struggle for existence seems 
peaceful, when men fight no longer with swords 
and spears, but with pens and mining stocks. 
Unfortunately the lower organisms, both ani- 
mal and vegetable, have not reached this pleas- 
ing state, and even now each creature tries 
either to kill or to make friends with every 
other. 

If a plant can, at the sacrifice of some nectar 
and albumen, save its life and propagate its 



NATURES REALM. 169 

§ 

kind, it is gaining an advantage over those a plant can secure the entire services of a de- 
plants whose leaves are all devoured as soon as fensive army, it will be safe by night and by 
they appear, or are so contracted in surface, day. 

and made so hard and woody in order to be The skeptics admit the benefits to the ants, 

unattractive as food, that they fulfil only half If they admit the benefits to the protectors, they 

their functions. If, by providing a lodging must also admit the benefit to the protected, 
place also, even at some inconvenience to itself, 



ODE TO THE LAUREL. 
By M. B. M. Toland. 

Thou emblem of eternity ! 

Born from thy aged trunk, all gnarled and sere, 
Arise thy scions from the parent tree, 

And clothed in verdant foliage, appear 
Like sacred monuments to Grecian age. 

As Spartan sons sprung from heroic sire, 
Proud of his fame enrolled on glory's page, 

To higher deeds of chivalry aspire, 
So they in youthful strength arise, expand, 

Though parent root be crumbling to decay, 
And in hereditary beauty stand, 

As thou didst stand in springtime of thy day. 
Time will roll on ; gray moss and lichens grow 

Where now thy shrunken, wrinkled form appears, 
And they that stately stand, be bowed as low, 

Be weather-shattered, wasted, worn and old, 
Yet shall not wholly die ; their germs will be 

Renewed, uprising from incrusted mould, 
Immortal type of immortality. 

Italian myrtle wreathed in chaplets green, 
The ardent votaries of love may wear, 

And worship Aphrodite, beauty's queen, 
Their homage oft rewarded with despair. 

Let festive roses blush when zephyrs kiss, 
And wantonly to all their fragrance yield 

That seek the unrestrained ambrosial bliss, 

Nor heed the thorns among the sweets concealed. 

Let purple grape with leaflets of the vine 

The orgies wild of Dionysus crown ; 
Let garlands gay the fevered brow entwine 

When maddening joy their sodden senses drown. 

Love, pleasure, revelry, will pass away, 
In long oblivion lost and withered lie ; 

All chaplets save thy own, immortal bay ! 
The wearer of thy crown shall never die. 



KILLARNEY AND 
By T. O. 

The great fleet of ocean steamers will soon 
be taking thousands of Americans over the 
Atlantic to enjoy the mild summer and varied 
scenery of Europe. Most Americans who go 
to Europe in search of the picturesque come 
back to their native land disappointed, although 
it may be wiser. Those in search of the beau- 
tiful do not need to go outside of this continent 
to find it, but it would seem that no matter 
what new places of scenic interest may abound 
in America, its wealthy classes are not satisfied 
with them, for the annual exodus over the At- 
lantic is ever increasing in volume. 

Great Britain receives a large share of the 
wealthy American tourists, but Ireland, in 
spite of the fact of its being the nearest part ot 
Europe to America, receives only a compara- 
tively small part of them. They hasten on to 
the continent, Switzerland being the bourne for 
which most of them aim. Notwithstanding the 
fact that Ireland is the nearest part of Europe 
to America, it is less like America in a scenic 
point of view than is any other part of the Old 
World. A native of almost any part of the 
Mississippi valley, were he transported to the 
steppes of Southern Russia or to the banks of 
the Loire or the Elbe, would not notice any 
very marked difference in the aspect of the 
country from the land in which he had been 
raised ; but the American who visits Ireland 
for the first time will find himself in a country 
so strange in aspect and so unlike his own, that 
he will imagine he is in another planet instead 
of on the other side ot the Atlantic. 

Except some favored spots in Switzerland or 
France, there is no spot of European soil more 
famed for beauty than Killarney. Its very 
name is beautiful, as any one can know who* 
has heard Balfe's grand song, " Killarney." 
No sounds more harmonious or more fitted 
for a refrain could be uttered by the organs of 
speech. The name signifies in Gaelic, the 
church of the sloe or wild plum tree. The real 
name of the lake, or chain of lakes, which is 
the great charm of Killarney, is Loch Lein, but 
the latter name is now almost obsolete. 

Before attempting to describe Killarney, it 
will be well to give the reader an extract from 



WHEN TO SEE IT. 

Russell. 

Macauley's " History of England." The passage- 
is a masterpiece of prose. It is a sketch of the 
scenic characteristics of that part of Ireland 
where the famous lakes are situated: 

" The southwestern part of Kerry is now 
well known as the most beautiful tract in the 
British Isles. The mountains, the glens, the 
capes stretching far out into the Atlantic, the 
crags on which the eagles build, the rivulets 
branching down rocky passes, the lakes over- 
hung by groves, in which wild deer find covert, 
attract every summer crowds of wanderers 
sated with business and the pleasures of great 
cities. The beauties of that country are often, 
indeed, hidden in the mist and rain that the 
west wind brings up from the boundless ocean. 
But on rare days, when the sun shines out in 
all his glory, the landscape has a freshness and 
warmth of coloring seldom found in our lati- 
tude. The myrtle loves the soil ; the arbutus 
thrives better than in Calabria ; the turf has a 
livelier hue than elsewhere ; the hills glow with 
a richer purple ; the varnish of the holly and 
the ivy is more glossy, and berries of a brighter 
red peep through foliage of a brighter green."* 

Macauley, in spite of his Celtic name, was a 
fierce hater of Ireland and the Irish, and there 
is no reason to suppose that the above most 
wonderful word-painting was evoked by any 
liking for the land it describes. 

The American who expects to find the gran- 
deur of the Rocky Mountains in Killarney will 
be wofully disappointed. The entire area of 
the beauties of Killarney is hardly more than 
ten or twelve miles square. It could be ridden 
round in a day. The most wonderful of the 
many wonders of Killarney is the variety ot 
scenery in so small a compass. In this respect 
no other part of the known world can compare 
with it. Every possible phase of Nature, every- 
thing she could do with land and water, can be 
found in Killarney, and found on a little spot 
of earth hardly as large again as Manhattan 
Island. Mountains, lakes, rivers, rocks, woods, 
waterfalls, flowery islands, green meadows and 
glistening strands, almost exhaust Nature's 



* History of England, Vol. III., p. 107. 



H 

x 
pi 

C 

> 



5 




172 



NATURE'S REALM. 



materials for forming the beautiful. But all 
are found at Killarney. Man, who mars Na- 
ture so often, has helped her here, for the 
castles and abbeys he raised of yore still stand, 
and their ivy and flower-decked ruins, tenanted 
only by the bat and the bee, put the finishing 
touch on this earthly Eden, and make it one of 
the scenic wonders of the world. 

Another wonderful thing about Killarney is 
the admirable proportion that its scenic fea- 
tures bear to one another. If the mountains 
were any higher they would be too high for the 
lakes, and if the lakes were any bigger they 
would be too big for the mountains. Even the 
rivers and waterfalls are in almost exact pro- 
portion to the other phases of Nature. The 
monstrous Mississippi or the thundering Niag- 
ara would spoil such a miniature paradise, but 
the limpid Laune and O'Sullivan's babbling 
cascade suit it exactly. Killarney is the most 
perfect effort of Nature to bring together with- 
out disproportion all her choicest charms. 

Small as Killarney is, it would take at least a 
week, or perhaps two weeks, to see it and know 
all its loveliness. It is only on foot and without 
hurry that its beauties can be seen in perfection. 
Its mountains may be ascended and glorious 
views of sea and craggy heights obtained ; but 
the charm of Killarney is not grandeur, but 
beauty. There are mountain views in America 
finer than can be had from the summits ol 
Mangerton or Cam Thual. It would be waste 
of time to climb those hills. Let the tourist 
rather wander in the hundreds of shady lanes 
or paths that skirt the lakes, or take, a boat and 
navigate that most picturesque river, for its 
length, in the world, the Long Range, that con- 
nects the upper with the lower lake. Let him 
mark the wondrous luxuriance of grass, leaf, 
weed and flower. The arbutus grows so large 
that it becomes a tree. Ferns of such gigantic 
proportions may be found in shady nooks that 
they seem to belong to some far-back geological 
age. Softness, freshness, luxuriance and beanie 
riante are the real glories of Killarney. In 
these it has no rival. 

There are two drawbacks to Killarney ; there 
is the guide nuisance and the rain nuisance. 
The nuisance of guides is probably no greater 
*han in many other places of tourist resort, and, 



by a strong effort of the will, can be got rid of. 
But the rain is a more serious matter and must 
be borne patiently. Some years come when 
not a dozen dry days occur throughout the en- 
tire summer, but generally there is no greater 
rainfall than on the west coasts of Scotland or 
England. There have been quite as many wet 
days in New York during the three last sum- 
mers as there usually are in Killarney. It does, 
however, too often happen that tourists are 
confined to the hotel for four or five days at a 
time, owing to the rain. It must be borne in 
mind that this excessive moisture of atmos- 
phere is what has given the southwest of Ire- 
land, and England, too, their exquisite charm 
of verdure and wild flowers. When a fine day 
comes after rain in summer or autumn, all Na- 
ture seems to laugh. Flowers of all hues open 
their petals ; birds in multitudes begin to sing, 
and wild bees and hosts of insects make the air 
musical with their hum. The American tourist 
need have no fear when insects are mentioned, 
for the mosquito is unknown in Killarney. 
Midges are the only insect plague, but they 
never enter houses, and are troublesome only 
before rain, early in the spring or late in the 
fall. 

Most tourists go to Killarney early in the 
summer. June and July are favorite times for 
Americans to visit it. As it lies almost in the 
direct route between New York and Liverpool, 
they generally visit it before going to England 
or the continent of Europe. But the time to 
see Killarney is in the autumn ; it is then in all 
its glory. It should not be visited before the 
15th of August; from then until the 1st of Oc- 
tober it is the most beautiful place, perhaps, on 
earth, provided, always, that the weather is not 
wet. There is only one thing that mars the 
weather in the south of Ireland, namely, rain. 
Cold, in the American sense of the word, is al- 
most unknown. Every day that is not wet 
must be fine. There is, it must be confessed, 
rather more pr®bability of having dry weather 
in Killarney in the spring or early summer than 
in the fall, but, by visiting it in the spring, the 
tourist would gain nothing, and would lose the 
wild-flower feast of autumn. No American, no 
matter from what part of the country he comes, 
can form the faintest conception of what a Kil- 



XATCRKS REALM. 



173 



larney mountain is in September, if the weather 
be fine. The wild flower that is the glory of 
Ireland is the heath. It blossoms only in the 
autumn. Next in glory to the heath comes the 
furze. Both furze and heath are unknown in 
this country. They are indigenous in the whole 
of the southwest of Europe, but, owing to the 
mildness and moistness of the climate of Ire- 
land, they grow and blossom there with a 
luxuriance unknown in any other country. The 
heath bears a flower of the most delicate pur- 
ple, and the furze bears one of the brightest 
yellow. When a great mountain becomes a 
mighty banquet of purple and gold, a sight is 
revealed which surpasses anything else on earth 
in floral beauty. Almost every mountain round 
about the " Eden of the West" is clothed from 
base to summit in a vast drapery of heath. 
Some of the Killarney mountains are wooded 
for a few hundred feet up their sides, but most 
of them are entirely covered with heath inter- 
spersed with furze. When a fine autumn oc- 
curs, tens of thousands of acres of mountain 
and moorland gleam in the sunlight, an ocean 
of purpie heath and golden furze. Not only 
do the heath and furze blossom in the au- 
tumn, but myriads of other wildflowers appear 
only at that time of year, or blossom most luxu- 
riantly then. Even white clover, which rarely 
blossoms in this country except in the spring 
or early summer, opens its flowers widest and 
sends out its most fragrant perfume in an Irish 
autumn. The air is heavy with the fragrance- 
of flowers ; the mountains are musical with the 
hum of bees, and 

Every winged thing that loves the sun 
Makes tht bright noonday full of melody. 

Killarney in a fine autumn becomes not only 
entrancing, but overpowering in its loveliness. 
The whole country round Killarney is a 
wonderland. Macauley's description of it is 
true to the letter. In all his works nothing can 
be found of a descriptive character equal to the 
passage quoted from him in this article. He 
had a great subject, and he has handled it as 
no other writer of the English language could. 
He has described one of the loveliest regions 
in the world in a few lines that will stand for- 
ever as one of the greatest efforts of a great 
writer. His description is a brilliant gem ot 



composition, just as the place it describes is a 
brilliant gem of Nature. 

No one should visit Killarney without visiting 
Glengarriff. It is only about twenty miles 
from Killarney, and can be reached by a sort 
of low-backed car peculiar to Ireland. This 
car is a very curious sort of conveyance. The 
occupants sit back to back, with their sides to 
the horses. In fine weather there is no pleas- 
anter mode of traveling than on a low-backed 
car, but when it rains, one is anything but com- 
fortable. Glengarriff is thought by some to 
surpass even Killarney in beauty. It is a deep 
glen surrounded by mountains of the most fan- 
tastic shapes, clothed with a wealth of foliage 
that would astonish any one who had not seen 
Killarney. The lake that is seen at Glengarriff 
is sea water, and opens into Bantry Bay. The 
tourist will find an excellent hotel here, and no 
matter how he may be satiated with the beauty 
of Killarney, he will see other and more striking 
beauties in Glengarrift 

Killarney is well supplied with hotels. There 
are five or six, and they are all good. Most of 
them are situated in sequestered places, where 
a view of some enchanting scene spreads before 
the door. The village of Killarney is about a 
mile from the lake ; it is a place of no interest 
at all, but there is a very good hotel in it, and 
many tourists stop there, for it is jusf at the 
railway terminus. Hotel expenses at Killarney 
in the tourist season are not so dear as at some 
of the fashionable American summer resorts. 
They will not average over four or four and a 
half dollars a day, and, by the week, not more 
than twenty or twenty-five, including servants' 
fees. Guides are not much wanted, unless 
mountains are to be ascended. Then they are 
indispensable, for mists may suddenly come on . 
the very finest day, and the tourist without a 
guide would run a chance of spending a night 
on a bleak mountain, or being drowned in a 
lake or bog-hole. Ponies of a most docile 
character can be hired cheap. Pony-back 
traveling is a favorite mode of " doing " Killar- 
ney, especially with ladies and lazy men ; but 
no one into whose soul the charm of Killarney 
really enters would think of traveling through 
such lovely scenes on horseback. On foot or in 
a boat is the way to see Killarney. 



THE HABITS OF THE LOON 

By Dr. Morris Gibbs. 

There are three birds which are known to 
bear the title of loon ; they are the black- 
throated diver or loon, the red-throated species 
and the common loon or great Northern diver. 
The first two mentioned are not taken within 
our bounds during the larger portion of the 
year, and are eminently Arctic birds, breeding 
from our northern confines to the Arctic circle. 
The common loon, known so well to hunters, 
is scientifically recorded as Urinator imber, 
and its habitat ranges over nearly the whole of 
North America from the Mexican border. It 
ranges in winter well to the south, but is only 
found breeding along our Northern boundary 
and in elevated sections in the mountainous 
regions of the West, sometimes well to the 
south. 

The common loon is a well-known bird to 
those persons who have their eyes open for ob- 
servation of the creatures of lakes and rivers, 
but to that class who never observe either on 
land or water and do not study our birds and 
mammals, he remains a shrouded mystery, 
even where he is actually abundant six months 
of the year. Considered from all points, for its 
peculiar ways in the water, remarkable ana- 
tomical structure, curious breeding habits and 
astonishing call notes, or song, if you wish to 
call it so, this bird of great swimming and liv- 
ing powers is one of our most interesting spe- 
cies. Carefully observed, the habits will be 
found so very odd as to command our strict 
attention, and our admiration will increase as 
we endeavor to comprehend peculiarities and 
get acquainted with this singular species. 

The loon is quite variable in its vernal ap- 
pearance in this locality (Michigan), sometimes 
appearing in late February and again not till 
after March 20. It is often observed swimming 
about in the open spots in the rivers in early 
March, and before the lakes have been freed 
from the ice. It is occasionally found conso.t- 
ing with the red-throated diver or loon {Uri- 
nator lumme) just previous to the departure of 
that Arctic species from its irregular winter 
sojourn with us. The two species do not pro- 



bably associate from motives of companionship, 
as the common kind is hardly ever met with in 
more than twos or threes, but they are proba- 
bly brought in contact with their more gregari- 
ous cousins from the fact that good fishing 
grounds are scarce in early March, when the 
lakes are usually frozen solidly, with few ex- 
ceptions. Several times it has been the pleas- 
ure of the writer to observe the two birds to- 
gether on our streams, and witness their points 
of difference and peculiarities. 

The great Northern diver is generally as 
abundant as it will be during the season by 
April 15, as it is believed that migration north 
has ceased by that time, and that all birds in 
Michigan have decided on their breeding 
ground for the season. That the birds are 
mated on their arrival seems probable, as the 
same pair is known to occupy the same nesting 
site or its immediate neighborhood for many 
years. In cases where three or more birds are 
observed in proximity on the same lake, there 
is occasionally evidence of dispute, but the re- 
tirement of all but a pair soon occurs, and then 
the lucky swain and mate are left in undisputed 
possession of the pond or lake. On larger 
lakes it may occur that two or more pairs of 
birds are occasionally found nesting, but in this 
locality never more than one nest is found on a 
body of water. Many pairs rear their young 
on ponds of from ten to a hundred acres extent, 
the old birds seldom feeding on the pond where 
their nest is placed to any extent, but seeking 
their finny prey on larger lakes near ; in this 
way their nesting sites are difficult to find, and 
remain safe from invasion by egg collectors. 
Several pairs of birds may be found feeding on 
one large lake without a nest of the species 
being found in its area, and this, too, at a time 
when nesting is in progress, thus showing con- 
clusively that the birds often seek their food 
away from home. 

About May 10, or rather earlier, the nests 
are generally begun, the first evidence of a se- 
lected site being the devotion exhibited by the 
prospective parents to a particular portion ot 



NATURES REALM. 



175 



the lake or pond. The choice about here is 
generally from twenty to forty rods from the 
edge of the water, and varies from this up to a 
half mile, and is always dependent on the 
depth of the shallower water. The loon is pre- 
eminently an aquatic species, and never at- 
tempts trips, however short, on land, or even 
through mud and water. It may well be 
doubted if this bird could move with anything 
but the slowest and most painful efforts over a 
rough, dry surface. A bog, well out from the 
margin of the lake, an old muskrat house, or 
one of those peculiar formations in some lakes 
found rising from the bottom, which is evi- 
dently of vegetable matter but difficult to ac- 
count for, lor the basis of the loon's nests. On 
this foundation, bog or levelled rat's nest, is 
spread more or less vegetable material, mainly 
of dead aquatic plants. The bulk of the sub- 
stance is soft and pliable, and of the nature 
generally of matter usually found at the bottom 
of edges of lakes and ponds. Elevations and 
dryness seem unnecessary to the loon's idea ol 
housekeeping, and they select, contrary to the 
advice given in the good book, the very lowest 
place actually above the surface of the water to 
be found. The rains may come and the winds 
blow, and still the loon cares not, even if the 
eggs are partially submerged. She sets with 
the greatest patience, awaiting the day when 
she shall be rewarded for the labor of love 
which instinct or reason dictates. I cannot 
assert from positive proof that the eggs hatch 
after being partially submerged, as my cupidity- 
has never allowed ine to leave the eggs to hatch 
as an experiment, the discoveries of nests ever 
remaining fortunate ones to collectors, the eggs 
being valuable, and all oologists are avaricious. 
It is reasonable to suppose that eggs, even if 
one-half submerged, will be hatched, and it 
may be added in support of this that young 
birds have been observed in the immediate 
vicinity of deluged nests lately occupied. 

The nests, or more properly, depressions, for 
that is all there is to them, are oblong in shape, 
being twenty inches long and twelve to fourteen 
wide. The shape is to accommodate the pecu- 
liar long body of the bird. The eggs are placed 
at about two-thirds of the distance from the 
front of the nest. To be more explicit, the eggs 



are placed well back from a centre, in order to 
receive the warmth of the mother's abdomen. 
The eggs, two in number, lie side by side in 
this oddly shaped nest, and from their position 
one can always tell which way the bird sets 
when on the nest. The bird invariably sets 
with her head out to sea, as we may say ; in 
other words, she always faces the deeper water, 
where she can see danger on either side and in 
front. At the slightest evidence of danger the 
loon pitches forward into the water with greater 
celerity than would be expected, and reappears 
only after swimming from fifteen to twenty rods 
beneath the surface. 

Perhaps no bird possesses better ability to 
avoid the danger from the rifle and shotgun 
than the loon, and it is to be doubted if there is 
any bird on American soil which can dive so 
quickly or remain under the water as long as 
he. Every hunter north of 35 ° , north latitude, 
has had some experience with the loon, and all 
can testify to his crafty ways and numerous — 
we might say almost invariable — escapes. Only 
one way seems in any degree fairly sure of 
success in his capture, and this procedure fre- 
quently fails ; it consists in getting the loon 
between fires on a stream or narrow lake. 
When so hunted the loon gets rattled, so to 
speak and as the boys call it, and is generally 
keeled over. It is no wonder the poor fellow 
becomes crazed and loses his head ; how many 
land loons would fail as well ? And yet [ have 
seen a loon surrounded on a small mill pond, 
with not a ghost of a chance of escape by- 
flight, keep a dozen shooters firing for an hour 
before it succumbed to the inevitable. When 
fired at, the great northern diver always dives 
tp avoid danger, and never attempts to escape 
by flight. The attempted harrassing of a loon 
by a whole flotilla does not seem to worry him 
at all, and he escapes in as easy a manner as if 
from a simple scow. It is not alone the loon's 
knowledge ol his ability to escape by diving 
that causes him to adopt that means for safety, 
but as well his knowledge that he makes a 
fiist-rate mark for the gunner in his cumber- 
some efforts at taking wing from the water. 
After a careful review of the flights of birds, I 
think it fair to accord the loon the lowest place 
in the scale, in his efforts at rising from pond 



i 7 6 



NATURE'S REALM. 



or stream. Of all clumsy undertakings, the 
attempt of a loon to fly from the surface of the 
water is the poorest excuse. He cannot spring 
into the air as do many of the ducks, but starts 
apparently with an effort at running on the 
water, making a great splashing and churning 
the water into foam. The wings are vigor- 
ously beating, and after a dash of two or three 
rods the body is fairly out of the water, but the 
tips of the wings beat the surface for at least 
six to ten rods more before the bird fairly flies. 
At least a space of ten rods is covered between 
the beginning of the rush through the water 
and the time when the body is clear from the 
surface by a foot. 

I have heard that a loon could not leave a 
pond of ten rods in diameter, from his inability 
to rise above the borderiug bushes around the 
pond, and I believe it fully. It will cause many 
to speculate and wonder why the loon could 
not go in a circle about a pond, and thereby 
gain the necessary elevation ; this would seem 
practicable, but, so far as my observations go, 
the loon seems incapable of advancing in any 
but a straight line. It would be interesting to 
learn from careful experiment if one of these 
birds was incapable of leaving a very small 
pond. 

The loon lays invariably two eggs at a clutch, 
and these are deposited from May 10 to June i 
in Michigan. They are from three and a half 
to four inches long, by two to two and a half 
inches in their smaller diameter. The color is 
generally dark and of an olivacious brown, but 
sometimes of a drab color, spotted and marked 
with darker brown. They are handsome, and 
form a great addition to an egg collector's cab- 
inet. There is an interval of two days between 
the depositing of the eggs. The period of in- 
cubation is well over three weeks. 

The young, on their appearance, take imme- 
diately to the water, swimming and diving in a 
manner to convince one that the water is their 
proper home from the first. They quickly 
learn, under the tuition of their parents, to con- 
ceal themselves, and in addition to this are also 
taught to ride on the back of their mother. It is 
most interesting to observe the movements of a 
family soon after the young appear, and it has 
been my good fortune to twice observe them. 



Nothing could appear more appropriate than • 
the perching of the young ones on the broad 
back of the parent, presumably the female, and 
in this position I have observed them with great 
interest as they rode about with perfect security, 
propelled by the tireless paddles of the old bird. 
When the old bird apprehends danger she 
dives, and the little ones disappear with her. 
It was natural enough that the young should 
attempt to follow their parent's example, but 
after hearing that the young ones reappeared 
. with their protector, I was convinced that the 
old one must in some way aid her offspring in 
their flight, as we may call it, through the 
water. The good fortune came to me at last 
to witness a part of the performance, that por- 
tion that mortals are allowed to see. An old 
bird, accompanied by two young, was seen in 
a little bay on the lake, and we hastened to 
press her to dive, hoping to secure the young 
for examination after they were left alone. 
When first observed the young were at some 
distance from the mother, but were quickly 
brought to her by a warning deep, stridulous 
note, when she observed the approaching boat. 
She then lowered her body in the water, and 
the young loons quickly secured a position on 
her back. We now rowed rapidly, when the 
old bird dived, and we distinctly saw the young 
disappear likewise, each chick evidently having 
seized hold of the feathers of the mother's body, 
presumably the tail feathers. It is fair to say 
that the tail feathers are the ones selected as 
tow ropes by the young, as the little fellows 
were relatively in the same positions at the old 
bird's rear when they came up. At least it is 
fair to judge that the young catch hold of the 
feathers of the old one to facilitate removal 
from places of danger. 

The expressions, " to laugh like a loon " and 
" crazy as a loon," are well known, and both 
come undoubtedly from the weird, uncanny 
call notes so often heard from the borders ot 
our Northern lakes. These notes often sound 
much like laughter, and one could readily 
imagine that only an insane person could be 
laughing in the night out on the lake. The 
expression, " silly as a loon," is not so easily 
accounted for, unless one calls the notes foolish; 
to me they are soul-inspiring and grand. At 



NA TURKS REALM. 



•77 



any rate, the loon cannot be called a foolish or 
silly bird, and those who have ineffectually 
tried to shoot one will be willing to acknowl- 
edge this. 

To me the notes of the loon are ecstatic 
music, as heard on the lake when fishing, or on 
shore as one sits near the glorious camp fire, 
and they come quavering across the water. 
The sound of the common notes are cloo loo 
loo loo ; there are also notes much like koawhee 
loo loo, which are not so commonly heard, and 
are more particularly uttered during nesting 
season. Aside trom these efforts, they have a 
call note uttered by both sexes, and best de- 
scribed by qui ho. This call can be so closely 
imitated by a friend of mine that the birds will 
answer him at once. These notes are all so 
weird and unearthly that timid persons often 
imagine that their origin is from some carniv- 
orous beast or by a horde of savages. In addi- 
tion to these cries or songs we often hear gut- 
tural chucklings and weird whinnyings difficult 



or impossible to describe, and of so varying a 
nature as to make it seem that a large number 
of birds of different species must be tuning 
themselves on the lake, and not alone one pair 
of loons. 

Anatomically the great northern diver pre- 
sents several decided peculiarities, among 
which the most prominent is the position of the 
leet, which are set at the extremity of the body, 
and are so arranged and formed as to admit of 
the greatest power in locomotion in the water. 
The body is formed to perfection for an aquatic 
existence, and everything conforms to the needs 
of the bird in its efforts to secure its food, which 
consists almost entirely of fish. The loon is 
not necessary to the fisherman, and is rather a 
source of annoyance through its ichthophagous 
propensities, but, in filling a proper position in 
the economy of Nature, it undoubtedly holds a 
right to fish in waters of our lakes equal at 
least to the rights of aggressive man. 



FAMILIAR RURAL SOUNDS. 



By Arthur F. Rice. 



Dwellers in cities have to tolerate, if not to 
love, the sounds of brawling traffic ; the rattle 
of horse cars and rumble of beer wagons ; the 
puffing of engines and the screaming of steam 
whistles. In these noises they are pleased to 
recognize energy, progress and thrift, and very 
properly consider them the exponents of bustle 
and activity, and the legitimate accompaniment 
of our money-getting proclivities. But these 
are artificial sounds, and neither appeal to our 
emotions and sensibilities nor have power to 
elevate and soothe our minds. Natural sounds, 
like natural manners, are best, and the city is 
not the place to hear them. The throat of the 
city sparrow seems choked with dust. The 
oriole and the thrush need purer air and less 
noisy competition in order that they may pro- 
perly express themselves in song. There are 
few sounds to which we are more pleasantly 
susceptible than that of moving waters ; but 
the surge of the traffic-stained tide against de- 
caving piles and malodorous docks can never 
convey to us the same meaning that comes with 
the musical drip and spatter of a forest cascade, 
or the whimpering of a meadow brook, where 

■■ Silver sands and pebbles sing 
Eternal ditties with the spring." 

In the town a thousand discords greet the 
ear. Above the din of machinery, the strident 
saw and the clanking cog-wheel, one may hear 
the groan of whipped horses, the beggar's cry, 
the yelp of dogs kicked from the door, and the 
savage words of men in strife with each other. 
In the country a man may wander all day 
through field and forest and never hear a sound 
more harsh than the rattle of the kingfisher or 
the tapping of the woodpecker. 

Winter's reign in the country is a quiet one, 
lor snow is a universal muffler of sound, and as 
there is less for our eyes to see, so there is less 
for our ears to hear ; but there is a sort of ro- 
bustness and virility in such sounds as do come 
to us. The winter birds are a hardy race, and 
there is independence and self-reliance in their 
calls. The bluejay's clarion note is a defiant 
challenge to the cold. The crows, too, disdain 



to seek the luxury of a warmer clime, and 
change their voices no more than they change 
their coats under northern skies The snow 
birds, it is true, have the gentle twitter of their 
summer cousins, but they seem the natural ac- 
companiment of the fresh, soft snow, and their 
complacent notes of greeting seem to indicate 
that they are on the best of terms with Jack 
Frost. 

The merry jingle of the sleigh bells and the 
creak of polished runners on the hard, dry 
snow, are winter sounds dear to the country- 
born, recalling many a drive over the white- 
mantled hills. From the open doors of gener- 
ous barns along the road comes the tune of the 
flails upon the threshing floor, and in the forest 
near at hand the ring of the woodman's axe is 
heard. And now there comes up from the val- 
ley a sound which sends a thrill to the sports- 
man's heart ; faint at first and far away, ceasing 
and then heard again in fuller cadence, the 
music of the hounds ! Who with a drop of 
hunter's blood in his veins can hear it and not 
yearn to be on the " runway," with a chance to 
stop that wild and graceful courser, the red 
fox, in his flight ? What matters the cold, 
though the trees, " keyed up by th'e frost," snap 
and crack in the winter air, and the wind 
whistling through the hemlocks sifts down the 
snow into our faces ? 

There is one winter sound not often heard, 
and still less frequently understood, namely, the 
rifting of the frozen earth under the tremendous 
tension of the contracting cold. It is like a 
subterrene clap of thunder, muffled but start- 
ling, jarring like an earthquake, and leaving a 
big crack in the earth, which gradually closes 
up in the spring as the ground thaws out and 
is expanded under the rays of the sun. The 
voice of the pine tree, always sad, is even more 
so in winter than at other seasons. Who shall 
translate its mournful meaning ? What has it 
been sighing about for a thousand years ? 
Shall we manufacture a little mythology, and 
say that some earthly maiden was sought by 
the gods and evaded them by turning herself 



NATURE'S REALM. 



•79 



into a pine tree, to mourn for her true love 
evermore ? 

Those who dwell in a rugged country, on the 
outer hem of the wilderness, so to speak, hear 
certain wild sounds that never greet less fa- 
vored ears — the bark of the fox, the quavering 
call ofthe raccoon, and the blood-curdling cry 
of the panther screaming at night in the moun- 
tains. Thoreau says that, " generally speaking, 
a howling wilderness does not howl," but per- 
haps he had never heard that awful wail ofthe 
panther, shuddering through the hills like the 
cry of a lost soul. 

With the advent of spring all Nature becomes 
vocal. Up from the marshes and lowlands 
comes the cricket-like call of the hylas, a plain- 
tive, soothing sound, and yet one that stirs us 
unaccountably. It calls back to life thoughts 
that have been dead a year, reviving in our 
sluggish brain recollections of other spring days 
long since gone by, with all their precious asso- 
ciations. Xo mail's memory is adequate to the 
calling up of the past by his own volition, either 
by following through consecutively the events 
of his life or attempting to group them. Little 
fragments of his past existence would be lost to 
him but for such reminders as the odor of a 
Mower, the sight of a once familiar object, or a 
sound for a long time unheard. 

Almost before the spring arrives, while the 
snow lies in drifts along the fences, and every 
hollow in the meadows is a grassy lake, there 
comes a sound which makes us stop and listen, 
and thrills us with a glad surprise. It is the 
voice ofthe bluebird, the pioneer ofthe return- 
ing songsters. How we welcome him, the 
pretty wanderer, " shifting his light load of song 
from post to post along the cheerless fence." 
Others may sing more sweetly and wear more 
splendid clothes, but he comes first and gets 
into our hearts before his tardy followers ar- 
rive. If he were — as perhaps he is — a messen- 
ger from God, and took his azure tint from the 
infinite blue through which he came, he could 
not be more gladly received or bring to us a 
purer pleasure. "Sweet harbinger of spring ! " 
May thy courage never be less, and may our 
northern winds ever blow gently upon thee. 

When the robins come we feel as if it were 
ime to bestir ourselves and begin our spring 



work. Of all the feathered tribes they seem 
most to partake of our every-day life. Indus- 
trious, democratic, fearless, they take up their 
abode with us as a matter of course, building 
their nests under our very noses, and hopping 
about our lawns with a confidence that comes 
of assured possession. In the matin hymn ot 
the birds they take a leading part ; when the 
others are silent at midday we still hear their 
soft cluck, and at eventide, from the tops of the 
tall trees, with heads uplifted and with thoughts 
far above the dull earth, they pour out their 
song of thanksgiving. 

Soon our ears are greeted with the full chorus 
of bird voices. From the cool and shady re- 
cesses of the forest, where he loves to sing, 
comes the thrilling music of the wood thrush, 
and after each April shower the jubilant cat- 
bird relieves his soul of its burden of song. 
From the remote thicket issues the cuckoo's 
soft, penetrating croak, and the boom of the 
night hawk is heard in the land. High in air 
the "sky-swung" hawk utters his piercing cry, 
and rippling over the fields comes the long, 
melodious call of the yellow-hammer. Dis- 
tance softens harsh sounds into harmony, and 
the barking of dogs and the tinkling of the cow 
bells far within the wood, is music to the ear. 
Fven the crickets chirp in harmony, and what 
would otherwise be a blur of sound becomes a 
rythmical ticking that soothes rather than dis- 
turbs. "Sugar is not so sweet to the palate as 
sound to a healthy ear," and he who is quickest 
to discern and interpret it, who loves the song 
of the bobolink, the wild cackle of the great 
black woodpecker and the hum of the bees 
among the apple blossoms, has a source and 
supply of enjoyment that money cannot buy. 
He who listens well will discover a striking 
succession of sounds in Nature, one fading into 
another as time goes on. After the peep of the 
hyla comes the trump ofthe bullfrog, and later 
on the trill ofthe summer toad. Hour hearing 
were keen enough we could perhaps have heard 
the lisp ofthe polywog first of them all. The 
z-z-zing of the locust, with its crescendo and 
diminuendo, precedes the din of the August 
piper, while that in turn is followed by the chirp 
of the cricket, and, last of all, the rasp of the 
katydid. 



I So 



NATURE'S REALM. 



Most summer sounds are soft and subdued. 
The dense foliage at that season deadens 
and tones down the murmur of winds and 
waters, the birds are less vociferous, and all 
Nature seems inclined to be indolent and 
drowsy. The quiet is occasionally broken by 
the muffled thunder of wheels on the wooden 
bridge or the rumble of a flock of sheep stam- 
peded in the dry pasture. In the edge of the 
woods the young crow is taking his first lessons 
in articulation, and from the top of the tall elm 
the veery sings his soft summer song, which 
has a spiral sound, and is as sweet as if bored 
in sandal wood with a golden gimlet. The 
flies buzz idly about, and the lazy drone of the 
locust slowly runs down as if he were about 
going to sleep. Almost the only sign ot activ- 
ity is the distant monotony of the mowing ma- 
chine, now borne strong and clear on the breath 
of the breeze, now dying away as if it had gone 
behind a hill or down into a valley. The sur- 
face of the river is smooth as a mirror, and the 
silence is broken only by the skurry of a fish 
among the lily-pads or the plunge of a turtle 
that has been basking in the sun. The voice 
of the little stream that gurgles through the 
meadow is well nigh hushed by the tall grasses 
through and under which it finds its way. 
There is fulness of life everywhere, but, next to 
the silence of midwinter, the late summer days 
are the quietest of the year. 

With the coming of the early frosts there is 
another period of bustle and animation. The 
birds congregate and gossip concerning the 
long journey they are about to take. From the 
groves of hickory and oak comes the bark of 
the gray squirrel and the "snickering" of his 
red relative. As we walk through the fields 
early in the morning there is a musical crash 
of the thin ice under our feet where each little 



hollow or hoof mark in the mud ot yesterday 
has been sealed over, as the housewife seals her 
glasses of jelly with paper. From the secure 
regions of the upper air the wild geese send 
down their discordant message, and far within 
the wood reverberates the mysterious drum of 
the partridge. We have all heard this martial 
performance, but the partridge plays to very 
select audiences, and he who would see the 
artist in the act must take a reserved seat and 
wait till he appears. 

One who spends the night alone in the forest 
will gradually become aware that the air is palpi- 
tating with sound. The leaves are rustled by 
tiny feet, and there are lilliputian squeaks and 
gibberings. The wood fairies are out and en- 
joying themselves. The mice emerge from 
their soit nests under the rocks, the flying 
squirrels forsake their dormitory in the decayed 
stub, and the uncanny bat flies about on erratic 
wing. All the timid inhabitants of the woods 
are taking advantage of the darkness to ply 
their trades and have their frolics. But even 
now their enemies are not asleep. The owls 
are on their noiseless rounds ; the foxes and the 
weasels are out foraging, poking their sharp 
noses into every nook and cranny, following 
the trail of the chipmunk and deermouse, and 
sniffing the air with murder in their thoughts. 
There is a scurry among the leaves, a terrified 
squeak, and a midnight tragedy has been 
enacted. 

Go where we will, there is no such thing as 
absolute silence. "Beyond all accountable 
sound there is always the shadow of a sound," 
and if our dull sense of hearing is incapable ot 
catching the music of the spheres, we may still 
derive untold pleasure from learning to listen 
well. A whispered message may be more 
precious than one shouted from the housetops. 



FLORIDA SHELL HEAPS. 



By Scoi 

No part ot our country is more interesting 
to the geologist than the State of Florida. 
This interest does not attach from the fossil re- 
mains, as they are comparatively few, and 
scarce worthy of rank in comparison with older 
sections of the Union. The main interest ac- 
crues from the fact that the land is of very re- 
cent formation. Perhaps it would be more 
proper to say that the peninsula is of interest 
to physical geographers rather than to geolo- 
gists. 

Among the peculiarities of this section no 
more curious features present themselves for 
our study than the shell heaps. By this I mean 
the elevated ridges or mounds of shell forma- 
tion that one encounters throughout large sec- 
tions of the State, for it is generally known that 
the peninsula is almost entirely composed of 
shells, either solid in a conglomerate or pulver- 
ized. These heaps, so far as I am able to learn, 
are generally near the water's edge, and if of 
any size are nearly, if not quite, always in a 
parallel line with the water. Many that I have 
examined gave the best of evidence of great 
age, while others were apparently of recent 
formation. These differences agree in their 
variations to the several theories regarding 
their accumulation. These theories, together 
with observations from careful research, will 
be presented to the readers, without deductions, 
but with comments, which may assist in a 
study. 

In several quarters the heaps are so sym- 
metrical in form that the idea prevails that they 
were built there by the Spaniards at an early 
day for defensive or offensive purposes. The 
only evidence that seems at all strong for this 
theory is found on the shores of Lake Worth. 
Mr. Allan Heyser, proprietor of Oak Lawn 
Hotel, found a ten or twelve-pound cannon 
ball imbedded in the debris on the back or in- 
side of the supposed fort. If this ball had been 
found in front or imbedded on the front side it 
might be said to have been fired from the water 
into the heap, but when lound unused behind 
the fort it may well cause consideration. 



Another theory is that the aborigines, or 
perhaps the ancient and now extinct mound- 
builders, formed these heaps as fortresses. 
This theory seems untenable, as at very earl\ 
times there was small chance of attack by 
water, and moreover it would seem idle that 
people of that early age, who at best were only 
used to bows, arrows and clubs, should build 
large and strong fortifications. Nevertheless, 
certain of these walls or ridges have forms 
which indicate some purpose in their builders, 
or perhaps remodelers. One nearly symmet- 
rical mound on Indian River slightly north ot 
Micco, Brevoord County, is shaped much like 
an alligator, with a wall around the entire 
space ; the depression in the inside of the fort 
being quite level and with a well at one end, as 
if intended for the enclosed space. This 
mound, heap, fort or religious place of worship 
is known in that section as " alligator mound." 

Another theory, and the generally accepted 
one, is that the native Indians of Florida have 
for ages past gathered on the shores of Indian 
River, so called, and other lagoons, and held 
tribal clam bakes. Certain sections were se- 
lected in accordance with religious rites, per- 
haps, or more likely as a matter of convenience, 
and where the oysters were thickest, and here 
the noble red men gathered year after year, 
leaving the empty shells to mark the place 
where they feasted. 

Still another theory, this, too, having rational 
adherents ; a theory, also, which accords with 
Dame Nature's marvelous workings and 
stranger freaks : It is claimed that the natural 
elevations and subsidencies of the edges of the 
sea shore, and especially on the borders of la- 
goons separated by a narrow neck of land, have 
caused this condition, assisted by the action of 
the waves. To be sure many mounds are 
found away from the water, often many miles, 
but even this may be accounted for by those 
defending this course of reasoning. 

These heaps are multitudinous, and it is not 
unfair to say that if joined together, on Indian 
River alone, they would cover a distance often 



I 82 



NATURE'S REALM. 



miles. Many of them are so low and well cov- 
ered with scrub palmettos that their presence 
is not detected unless they are near to the 
water, when their base is loosened by the 
waves and their structure exposed. They are 
nearly all composed of nothing but the shells 
of the common oysters of Florida, which is, I 
think, a variety of our common oyster of New 
York, and though some contain a mixture of 
bones, it is an exception to find bones numer- 
ous ; still this scarcity may result from the fact 
that the bones may be entirely disintegrated 
and thus hard to find. 

These mounds, apparently rising from the 
water's edge, when on the shore and washed 
out at their bases by the waves, are sometimes 
twenty feet high, and one that I measured was 
quite twenty-three feet tall. This mound, the 
most perfect in its purity of clean oyster shells 
and freeness from dirt, is opposite to the peli- 
cans' island below St. Sebastian River. It is 
over four hundred feet long and from thirty to 
sixty feet deep, back from* the water. It has 
large palmettos growing upon it, some of which 
must be nearly a hundred years old. A house 



is perched on its highest point, twenty feet or 
so back from the edge of the nearly vertical yet 
crumbling cliff, and the proprietor has had to 
put up signs to prevent the curious from under- 
mining the rattling, unstable pile and thereby 
endangering his house. Several palmettos 
have succumbed to gravity and settled in wry 
positions to the water's edge. 

In several mounds skeletons have been dis- 
covered, thus proving comparatively recent oc- 
cupancy ; but this does not prove that the 
mounds were made for burial purposes, for 
perhaps the tribes selected the sites because of 
their elevation and dryness. 

From several of these tumuli beads were 
taken, which were always found on top. The 
beads were of glass in no instance, but were of 
a hard substance resembling stone but quite 
light. 

The reader is left to draw his own conclu- 
sions, and we hope to hear from others, and 
those who have studied on the subject, either 
in the line ot archaeology or as regards geol- 
ogy, and Florida's formation in particular. 



Far up among the New Hampshire Hills in 
a bend of the Cocheco lies Calico Camp, one of 
my favorite little nooks. Why I ever gave it 
that name I really can't remember, but probably 
from some connection in my mind with the 
cotton mills on the same river. When I am 
out on one of my long solitary rambles I like 
to get into these quiet, out of the way corners, 
and, if they suit me, I stay a few days. Some- 
times I visit it again and again, until I feel a 
sort of ownership and cultivate an acquaint- 
ance with all the little wild inhabitants. And 
Calico Camp, as I have already said, is one of 
my special favorites. 

A boisterous little brook joins the Cocheco 
here. Its banks are thickly fringed with alders 
and the higher up you go the more placid it 
becomes, until just before its source in a cold, 
hill-surrounded bog it spreads into quite a 
respectable little pond. This seems to be the 
home of a family of wood ducks, and I usually 
lay them under contribution for a supper or 
two. 

The edge of the river as it sweeps around the 
land is girt with jagged, perpendicular, granite 
rocks. This ledge crops out again among the 
hills behind the bog, where it is full of trap 
veins. Just back from the edge of the river is 
a good thick wood of white pine with an under- 
growth of mountain laurel. In a little hollow 
among these bushes I made my camp. I first 
came to it in the evening just before sunset, 
when the flowers were in bloom. Here in the 
deep shade of the hills they seemed to positively 
light up the place. Even after I had caught 
up my fire and the coffee was being boiled and 
an occasional flame leaped up, the masses ot 
blossoms sent back a ruddy flash as if smiling 
to be out of the night beyond. And among the 
dark stems below the fireflies tripped in their 
torch dance while the katydid plied his strident 
little fiddle. 

With the early streaks of dawn a concert be- 
gan that would shame the most accomplished 
of human musicians. The orchestra of Calico 
Camp is composed of four different kinds of 



AT CALICO CAMP. 

By Robert Curzojj. 

thrushes. A solo by the wood thrush soon be- 
comes a duet as the olive-backed wakes up ; the 
tender tones of the hermit are soon woven in 
with them in an incomparable medley, while 
the veevy's trill seconds them all and blends 
with the mass of tender harmony till the sun is 
well above the eastern hills. 

At breakfast time the chickadees and red 
squirrels generally pay me a visit. Both live 
harmoniously in an old canoe birch that over- 
hangs the mouth of the creek. But why the 
squirrels, such mischief makers usually among 
bird nests, have let this particular family ot 
chickadees alone will always be a mystery t 
me. There is truce between them, though, an 
I have seen old mother squirrel cuddling new 
babies within six inches of the knot hole that 
seemed almost too full of infant black caps. 
But she is the plague of the life of an old king- 
fisher that seems to have taken a particular 
fancy to one sturdy stub of the old birch that 
overhangs the shoal water just at the mouth of 
the brook. No sooner does he spring his rat- 
tle here than he is promptly chased away and 
he can only occupy the coveted spot by stealth 
and in deep silence. 

Up among the pines a pair of sharp skinned 
hawks have their nest, and all day long there is 
war between them and the blue jays. The 
partridges also live up this way too, and I often 
see the old hen with her agile little chicks 
about the edges of the laurel patches or in the 
alders by the brook. It's seldom more than a 
glimpse, however, before the watchful parent 
flutters about in well-simulated tameness while 
the wee ones seem to almost melt away among 
the leaves and underbrush, so quick is their 
disappearance. I often find the nest and egg- 
shells in some cosy spot where the delicate 
Linnea borealis and the beautiful striped 
oxalis fringe it about among the green moss. 

I am among the rocks on the edge of the 
river where I go for my noon-tide swim ; there 
is a jutting ledge under which a pewee builds. 
One year, quite late in the season, she laid 
speckled eggs for the second brood. Though 



1 84 



XATCRE'S REALM. 



oological rarities, I was magnanimous enough 
to leave them to hatch ; I don't like to disturb 
the birds much close to one of my favorite 
camps. 

Back in the bog is a splendid mass of pitcher 
plants, and somewhere among them a pair ot 
bitterns have their abiding place. Their hollow 
voices always resound through the evening air, 
and about the same time a big rough-legged 
hawk prowls round here and up and down the 
brook. This is the favorite time, too, for the 
muskrats to come out and play, and the gam- 
bols of the little ones are a very pretty sight. 

Calico Camp is always invaded, after a day 



or two, by lots of little mice. They are not the 
common domestic animal of civilized life, but a 
beautiful white-footed, woodland kind. 

Wouldn't you like to visit my little camp, my 
dear reader ? Well you shan't know from me 
just exactly where it is. I love to think of these 
places as mine and mine alone, and as I sit on 
my high stool with the hum of the city life and 
street sounds all about me, their pictures rise 
up among the dry columns of the figures in the 
big ledger until some day the longing for the 
woods and solitude gets too much for me and 
I whisk off again. Probably sometime I will 
tell you about Calico Camp in winter. 



PROFESSOR JOE— A STORY OF THE SIOUX. 

B\ Sami/el Pakkek. 
[Concluded from the April Number.] 



The stranger who had so suddenly put in ap- 
pearance at the Sioux camp was Joseph Wil- 
liams, a native of St. Louis, an accomplished 
taxidermist with a roving disposition inherited 
from his father, whose life had been passed in 
the wilderness of the upper Missouri as a fur 
buyer and by whom the son had been tutored 
in the Sioux language. While yet a boy at 
school young Joseph's imagination had been 
fired by the romantic stories of the wilderness 
as related by his father, and this, his first expe- 
dition, was for the double purpose of preparing 
and mounting specimens of birds and animals 
and collecting a supply of Indian relics for a 
college museum at St. Louis. 

Being fluent in the Sioux language it required 
but a few moments to explain to the Indians 
the object of his mission. 

"My friends," he said, " I am going to re- 
main here by your camp until the leaves on the 
island timber have turned to red and yellow. 
You have bows and arrows and can shoot ; I 
want some snowy owls, some eagles and peli- 
cans, and the heads and antlers of deer, elk and 
antelope. I have many beads, looking-glasses, 
brass tacks, tobacco and paints, which I will 
trade with you, and I will buy pipes, war clubs, 
tomahawks and moccasins." As an evidence 
of good faith the stranger then distributed 
gratuitously a liberal quantity of presents 
among the assembled Indians, the warriors ac- 
cepting with many friendly " how kuh-lah's " 
the packages of ochre and Chinese vermilion 
handed out by the generous white man. The 
women and girls likewise went into raptures 
over the tiny vials ol perfume, little moon- 
shaped mirrors and colored beads, while a 
lusty clashing of jaws by troops of wild-eyed 
boys and cunning little girls afforded ample 
testimony to the fact that among this portion of 
the population spruce gum was largely in the 
ascendant. The day following his arrival the 
stranger's tent, a large square structure, 
loomed white against the background of cedars 
in a pleasant glade not far distant from the 



Sioux camp. The warriors brought toma- 
hawks, war clubs and bows, many of which 
had seen service in the ill-fated battle of the 
Little Big Horn. The chattering squaws like- 
wise poured upon the counter such an ava- 
lanche of decorated pipe-holders, knife-scab- 
bards, moccasins and dolls gay with paint and 
feathers as warranted an oversupply sufficient 
for private speculation. Late one smoky even- 
ing a band of hunters returned from the vicin- 
ity of the Painted Woods, bringing a few travois 
loads of elk and antelope, deer and feathered 
specimens innumerable. A beautiful swan, 
while oaring itself majestically among the reeds 
and lilies of a prairie lake, had met an untimely 
fate at the hands of Whistling Elk, who, al- 
though somewhat languid in his movements 
since his famous encounter with ma-to, had ac- 
companied the expedition. The days passed 
along and summer waned apace leaving " Pro- 
fessor Joe " — for so the woodmen on the island, 
in view of his skill in mounting specimens, had 
come to style him — still happy and contented 
in his canvas dwelling among the trees. Born 
and reared amid the turmoil of the crowded 
city, the strange, wild beauty of the primeval 
wilderness thrilled him with an enthusiasm 
irresistible and grand ; while the Sioux with 
their plumes and moccasins appeared to him 
like ornamental figures designed by Nature for 
the special embellishment of the green forests 
and rocky, haze-dimmed hills, among which for 
thousands of moons they had lived, loved and 
roamed. During the warm voluptuous nights 
of June even - vagrant wind that stirred among 
the tasseled cedars or softly Happed the curtains 
of his tent was heavy with the fragrance from 
an ocean of roses blooming in wild luxuriance 
in the bottom lands, where the midnight flutes 
of the arctic tohees accorded sweetly with the 
tuneful wash of the mighty Missouri. Mean- 
while, however, the interior of Professor Joe's 
tent had undergone a transformation extremely 
bizarre. Ingeniously disposed on shelves or 
perches of cedar limbs, an array of owls and 



1 86 



NATURE'S REALM. 



eagles, swans, herons and pelicans stared 
blankly across to the opposite side upon a 
motley collection of squatting wolves, standing 
lynxes and wildcats, and the spreading antlers 
surmounting the pathetic faces of elk and deer. 
To the untutored Indians the business of 
preparing and mounting the specimens was 
very wonderful, especially the process of in- 
serting the artificial eyes, and during this part 
of the performance the interior of Professor 
Joe's pavilion was thronged with a multitude of 
warriors and squaws, by all of whom the oper- 
ation was regarded with grave and studious 
interest. 

But Professor Joe, according to the account 
of Narcisse Rencounter, from whom, in his little 
cabin hidden in a thicket, the main facts con- 
cerning the experiences of the wandering taxi- 
dermist at the Sioux village were gathered, 
was likewise an adept in the art of drawing, 
and much given to wandering with sketch 
book and pencil amid the savage and imposing 
scenery in the vicinity of the camp. 

One midsummer day while shooting grouse 
Rencounter discovered a letter lying on a bank 
beside a spring located amid the solitude of the 
river hills, and which had been indited by Pro- 
fessor Joe to a college friend at St. Louis, but 
which it appears had been lost by that func- 
tionary or inadvertently thrown aside with 
some waste matter contained in his portfolio. 
Rencounter, himself an excellent scholar, hav- 
ing been educated at a Catholic school in Can- 
ada, was therefore quite capable of perusing 
the stray epistle, the chirography of which was 
extremely neat and legible. The upper por- 
tion ot the first page was embellished with an 
elegant vignette executed in colors and repre- 
senting a rugged cedar-crowned ledge with a 
charming bit of river and sky for a back- 
ground. On the crest of the ledge, and be- 
neath the overarching canopy of cedars, a win- 
some Indian maiden, with painted cheeks and 
picturesque head-dress of green and yellow 
plumes, stood gazing dreamily at the wander- 
ing river. 

"Pretty Cloud, by all that's holy!" ejacu- 
lated Rencounter, crossing himself with amaze- 
ment. 
" Now, Mr. Professor Joe," he further solilo- 



quized, "between the affair ot making love to 
the belle of a hostile camp of Sioux Indians and 
the business of stuffing eagles and pelicans, I 
must take it upon myself to inform you that 
the latter can certainly be carried on with far 
less risk of having your topknot drying on a 
lodge pole one of these days, which, if this be 
your game, is a catastrophe sure to overtake 
you." 

After this sage observation, which was based 
on some of his own personal experiences in the 
field of Indian love making, Rencounter, with- 
out so much as " by your leave," proceeded to 
regale himself with the contents of Professor 
Joe's letter, which was addressed to Mr. Fred- 
erick Lawrence, and read as follows : 

Devil's Island, , 18— . 



Dear Fred: — With the breezy fragrance of pine branches in 
my nostrils, and fortified, moreover, by an exhilaration of 
mind and body such as I never before experienced, I will now 
redeem my promise and proceed to inform you how the world 
wags at Devil's Island. Concerning any curiosity you may 
chance to entertain as to why the title by which his satanic ma- 
jesty is most familiarly known has been clapped upon this ro- 
mantic island, I must confess that that is a question which I 
have not as yet investigated. However, you may be sure that 
the appellation has been bestowed upon it by the superstitious 
Indians. Good and evil spirits cut about an equal figure in 
their geography, but respecting the island I can perceiv- noth- 
ing in its physical aspects that could possibly suggest a title so 
unmelodious. I frequently annoy Rencounter, a French- 
Canadian, a sort of hermit who occupies a little cabin not far 
from my tent, by assuring him that the Indians have informed 
me that the island is so called from the fact of his own (Ren- 
counter's) close proximity thereto — that previous to his advent 
it was known as Paradise Island, etc. The Indians are quick 
to notice any peculiarity in a man's personal make-up, and on 
this certain peculiarity, whatever it may chance to be, they 
proceed forthwith to hang the name by which the individual is 
henceforth to be known by them. Rencounter is the possessor 
of a huge Napoleonic moustache terminating at the extremities 
with sharp, slender points. To the simple-minded Indians 
these wisp-like projections on either side of his face were some- 
how suggestive of the horns of a catfish, and Rencounter was 
accordingly given the name of E-hop-e-te, The Fish, and he is 
never hailed by any other title. By the way, neighbor Ren- 
counter is quite a character, and he is gifted with a pomposity 
of language sufficient to paralyze a lexicographer. A chopper 
who has passed several seasons in this region informs me that 
he was educated at Montreal with a view of becoming a Cath- 
olic priest ; but, having discovered that the business of patter- 
ing credos in the wilderness was a rather precarious means of 
gaining a subsistence, E-hop-e-te has changed his base ol op- 
erations and stocked his hermitage with a variety of commod- 
ities, which are dispensed to the choppers at a profit sufficiently 
exorbitant to permit the occasional purchase of a demijohn of 
fire-water — a beverage for which he has a remarkable weak- 
ness. It is toward the close of a protracted debauch that 
E-hop-e-te's bump of veneration becomes the most apparent. 
The more his oft-repeated potations tend to reduce the con- 



NATURES REALM. 



187 



tents of his demijohn to a nonentity, the more his spirits droop 

r Jingly, until finally he becomes so mournfully pious that 

to approach him is simply to invite an extended homily on the 

-pivad evils ot dram-drinking, and the utter indiflen 
the human family in general to matters pertaining to their spir- 
itual welfare, etc. 

'■ And bow do you like the wilderness " 1 fancy I hear 
.isk Language, my dear friend, utterly fails to express my 
enthusiasm. Krom the day the good steamer Josephine set me 
down in this wild retreat life with me has been one long contin- 
ued dream of romance. In summer at toast this is truly an en- 
chanted land. Such charming wood and river wanderings amid 
the wild magnificence of primeval nature, and such nig,. 
balmy and reft mber as I now enjoy, are blessings 

« hich all the mad satieties of le bran monde could never impart, 
l'h.re is one characteristic feature of this wild latitude in sum- 
mer that, to my mind, is impressively weird and beautiful. For 
days together the wild and rugged landscape around lies 
d in a haunting and delicious atmosphere of smoke 
through the purple density of which the sunlight falls in crimson 
shadows on sleeping hills and forest boughs, while an extraor- 
dinary silence, as deep and breathless as the halls ol eternity, 
s supreme. Occasionally the pulseless foliage is animated 
by the cicada's blast, ringing at first high and shrill, then dying 
away gradually and lovingly into the faintest ofspirit-wh> 
It is on such preeminent days, when Nature's "prayer hush " 
is on the world, that fancies vague and exquisite possess me and 
the burden wf existence becomes as light as air. And what, 
my dear friend, could be sweeter, when earthly cares are for- 
ever ended, than a final resting place amid the silence of this 
Smoky wonderland, with the stately volume of the river for my 
requiem, and alone with the dreams and the dews? 

Knowing you to be an admirer of Cooper's Indian stories 
leads me to imagine that you would likewise be greatly inter- 
ested in the Sioux : and I am sure that you would be surprised 
to find how quickly the spirit of mistrustful prejudice which 
one invariably has laid up against them disappears after a 
short familiarity with them in their natural haunts. A Sioux 
warrior, embellished with his original native costume, his 
brilliant moccasins, his paint and eagle plumes and his barbaric 
ornaments, when thrown agamst the romantic background of 
MS and river crags, presents a spectacle than which Na- 
ture, in all her category of human products, affords nowhere a 
parallel. Among their most noticeable characteristics is the 
child-like simplicity of their natures, their inherent supersti- 
tion, their affection or their children, and their yearning love 
lor any special locality from which the encroachments of civ- 
ilization have been withheld for a sufficient period to lead them 
to regard it as their home. Their oratory, their legends and 
fantastic superstitions are colored with a poetic glamor, and 
their dying dreams are haunted by visions of a spirit world 
wherein th :id mountains teem with game and hunger 

is unknown. A glance at their eventful history can scarcely 
fail to impress a sympathetic soul with a thrill of compassion- 
ate interest ; fur if there be one thing more than another that 
exemplifies the pathos of human existence, it is surely the de- 
spair of a moribund nation. A few more years and all of the 
most picturesque and poetic features that characterize 1 
remarkable people will have been lost in the oncoming wavi 
of civilization, but 

" Strange sounds of a forgotten tongue 
Shall cling (0 many a crag and cave, 
In wash of falling waters sung 
Or murmur of the wave. 



And oft at midmost hush of night, 
Shrill o'er the deep-mouthed c.itar 1 

Shall ring the war cry from 1) 
That woke the wilds of) 

The wildest a| Bed Indian 

that 1 have ever before seen arrived her. -nings ago 

with the information that the Indian- . it a point 

on the Upper Cheyenne, tor the purpose of holding a sun 
dance, one of the most barbarous observances peculiar to the 
The tidings, it appears, were favorably received, for 
the next morning the courier departed accompanied by a large 
and gorgeously appareled cavalcade from this place, which, 
with the exception of the female population ami 1 Few old men, 
leaves the village practically deserted Notwiths tanding , 
however, traffic still continues lively, for the finest curiosities 
in my collection are purchased from the women, in the manu- 
facture of which they ale exceedingly tasty Many of the 
- are not only comely, but handsome, with slender, 
willowy forms, white, even teeth, and small, shapely hands, 
while their laughter is very" soft and musical During the 
process of trading at the counter they become as mischievous 
and garrulous as a family ot magpies. The articles most cov- 
eted by t|iem are paints, ribbons, musk and fragrant soups. 

Apropos of my remark concerning the personal appearance 
1 if the Sioux women, there is at the present time in this camp a 
maiden whose attractive features, I dare say, would captivate 
your fancy and almost persuade you to adopt a lodge in the 
wilderness. The vignette picture in my letter page is a faithful 
likeness of this dusky Venus just as she appeared while stand- 
ing alone on the river's bank, and which I succeeded in trans- 
ferring to paper without her knowledge. With a pair of soft, 
dove-like eyes, two prairie-bronzed cheeks touched faintly with 
vermilion, a sweeping cataract of blue-black hair and a form as 
graceful as an antelope's, it may well be imagined that Pretty 
Cloud, for that is her name, is queen of her IV rest realm. 
Thunder Hawk, her father, is quite an interesting old Indian, 
and I frequently pass an evening in his wiga am. usually taking 
along some tobacco for the chief and like-. little trifle 

for Pretty Cloud, to whom the old warrior seems devotedly 
attached. Indian girls, however, are invariably timid and re- 
served in their intercourse with white men during the presence 
of their own people, who are very watchful and suspicious oi 
any unusual attentions shown them by the whites. But, with 
the departure of the warriors to the sun dance, the bonds of 
reserve are broken for the time at least, and I find myself be- 
sieged daily by a dusky but extremely merry and mischievous 
audience, among which Pretty Cloud, hitherto as shy as a wild 
bird, is now the leading spirit. They delight in slyly appropri- 
ating my hat, gloves or cane, and then leading me on a madcap 
race through the shrubbery' to recover them, the while the 
woodland resounds with their musical laughter, and I discover, 
moreover, that the frolicsome gnomes are as fleet of loot as 
antelopes. 

Yesterday evening, while sitting alone in my tent and busily 
employed in preparing an eagle tor mounting, a shadow dark- 
ened the entrance, and Miss Prettv Cloud stepped within. 
Advancing timidly to the counter, she deposited thereon a 
small package, and without a word turned al>out and glided 
hastily away in the direction of the camp Being curious in 
I to the contents of the parcel, I proceeded to undo the 
same, when to I and behold, a pair of n. ■autifully 

and elaborately embroidered, and which, inasmuch as she has 
since declined to accept anything in payment, were of course 
tendered expressly as a keepsake. I shall preserve them care- 



NA TURK'S REALM. 



fully as a pleasant reminder of my summer among the Sioux. 

Wild plums and grapes are ripe, and the little "coolies" 
among the hills fairly teem with grouse. The Indians take a 
great many channel catfish from the river, and I am literally 
living on the fat of the land. 

But a few weeks more and I hope to see you in person, when 
I shall be pleased to entertain you with more of my experiences 
in the land of the Dakotas. Until then I am, 

Yours, etc., 

Joseph Willi VMS. 

In view of his long familiarity with the cus- 
toms of the Sioux, Rencounter was quick to 
perceive that Professor Joe's letter, although 
couched partly in a light and lively vein, was 
withal a faithful portrayal of Indian character 
in their every-day life in the wilderness. More- 
over, the pleasant allusions to himself and 
demijohn he accepted with a spirit of careless 
unconcern, inasmuch as they, too, were strictly 
within the bounds of truth. However, he could 
scarcely repress a sly twinkle of amusement on 
recalling certain visits made by Professor Joe 
to his cabin, from which that worthy had retired 
in a state of mental confusion, produced by the 
same magic elixir of which Rencounter was 
purported to be unusually fond. 

It was toward the close of September that 
Professor Joe discovered that the accumulation 
of Indian curiosities, together with his mounted 
specimens, had stocked his tent to its utmost 
capacity, and preparations were accordingly 
made for his return trip to St. Louis. In hourly- 
expectation of the boat on which he was to 
embark for home, Professor Joe had one morn- 
ing taken down his tent, which, together with 
its contents, he had conveyed to the rivers 
bank. The brief interval of time pending the 
boat's arrival was employed by Professor Joe 
in sauntering aimlessly among the river groves 
enjoying the superb loveliness of the surround- 
ing landscape. It was a glorious October day, 
and river, wood and hills were steeped in the 
purple haze of Indian summer. The bilberries 
hung in blushing clusters on the trees, and 
long, blood-red streamers from climbing vines 
were swaying dreamily in the pensive autumn 
air. The train of solitary musings into which 
Professor Joe had fallen while strolling along 



the river was presently disturbed by the loud, 
hoarse whistle of the approaching steamer, the 
huge smokestacks of which he now perceived 
darkly outlined against the bluffs and bearing 
rapidly down the stream. But while hastening 
along in the direction of the landing the foot- 
steps of Professor Joe were stayed for a mo- 
mentary period by the appearance of an appari- 
tion in plumes and paint in the form of Pretty 
Cloud, who had suddenly darted to his side 
from among the branches of a sheltered covert. 
That she was unduly agitated was at once 
apparent to Professor Joe. For a brief moment 
the dusky maiden stood before him in the path 
with downcast eyes and heaving bosom, w'hile 
two bright tear drops rolled down her painted 
cheeks and splashed upon the folds of the crim- 
son mantle thrown about her shoulders. Just 
then, however, the clatter of approaching pony 
hoofs were heard in close proximity, and with 
a hastily murmured ejaculation in token of 
farewell, Pretty Cloud disappeared like a 
startled fawn among the pines. The next mo- 
ment Whistling Elk, with eager haste, but with 
eyes and ears intent on nothing beyond the 
approaching steamboat, galloped quickly by on 
his way to the landing. The kindly heart of 
Professor Joe was touched at the expression of 
romantic tenderness as betrayed by Pretty 
Cloud, for to him the occurrence was an 
undreamed of revelation. However, the affair 
was for the time forgotten amid the bustle and 
confusion incident to the transferring of his 
owls and eagles, his wolves, wildcats and 
mountain lions and other etcetera on board the 
steamer, the consummation of which the mate, 
with a well-turned expletive selected from an 
inexhaustible vocabulary, avowed had trans- 
formed the craft into a veritable Noah's Ark. 
Such were the experiences of Professor Joe, 
the taxidermist, at Devil's Island, as related to 
me by Narcisse Rencounter on the night when 
I shared his hospitality in his little cabin which, 
as the Indian had truthfully observed, was 
hidden like a wolf in a thicket. 



THE AQUARIUM 



CONDUCTED BY HUGO MULERTT. 
[The Editor of this Department will cheerfully answer all queries relative to the conduct of Aquaria.] 



Water Lilies (Nymphaea). 

Water lilies have received from time im- 
memorial the very appropriate appellation of 
Nymphaea, Fairy Goddess of the Water, etc., 
in allusion to their charming, fairy-like appear- 
ance ; and although this title was applied to all 
aquatic plants in common, it was especially 
applied to the true Nymphaea, from its pecu- 
liar manner of growth. But it is always inter- 
esting to learn something of the antecedents or 
genealogy, if you please, of any strange or 
mystical object first, and we will turn to an- 
cient mythology to learn something of these 
fairy deities. Ancient mythology, however, is 
often very indefinite In its delineation ol the 
origin and attributes of some of the fabled dei- 
ties ; or perhaps more properly speaking, the 
old Greeks and Romans have often adopted the 
Oriental and African mythology without a full 
understanding of their supposed attributes, lor 
in all probability the origin of these pleasing 
tales was Asia or Africa (Egypt). 

We find at the head of mythical genealogy- 
stands Chaos, with her four children ; next in 
succession is Earth, first-born of Chaos, also 
with her four children ; then Earth married 
Heaven, raised a family of seventeen children, 
whose oldest and most beloved son, Oceanos, 
takes Tethys, one of the Titans, for his bride ; 
and one of their three thousand daughters (viz., 
all the lakes, rivers and brooks known to the 
ancients), Oceanides marrying Jupiter, raised a 
family of fifty daughters — the Nymphs — who 
were the titular goddesses or guardians of the 
sea, lakes, rivers, mountains, dales, groves ; in 
fact, every place known to the ancients was 
fabled to have one of these fairy Nymphs as 
their protector, with appropriate titles, to which 
was dedicated suitable rites and ceremonies 
for their worship. The Naiad Nymphs were 
in particular guardians of fresh water rivers, 
etc., and as such are the special objects of our 
notice. 



The word Nymphaea seems to have origin- 
ally signified " bride," and was probably de- 
rived from the Greek. It was generally applied 
to married or marriageable young ladies, for 
the idea of youth was always included. The 
Naiads are usually represented in works of art 
as beautiful young maids half draped and with 
long flowing hair, usually leaning upon an urn 
from which flows a stream of water. The 
word Naiad is derived from the Greek verb 
"to flow," as indicative of the general motion 
of the water. They were supposed to preside 
over freshwater fountains, streams, brooks and 
springs, and to inspire those who drank of its 
waters with oracular powers and the gift of 
poetry. They could also restore the sick to 
health. 

Of course, all these mythical fairy tales have 
a direct bearing upon the religous ideas — or 
perhaps we should say, the superstitious belief 
— of the people, for there was nothing at that 
early date, outside of the Jewish church, that 
is now recognized as religion. And although 
we affect to despise these old heathen fables, we 
still retain their names, and these names alone 
seem to connect the obscure, fabled past with 
the present time to such an extent that for a 
perfect understanding of the subject we must 
give more detail than simply say, "a Greek or 
Roman legend." This being our apology for 
deviating from the proposed subject, we will 
now dismiss ancient mythology and talk of 
modern reality. 

In all the tropical and temperate portions of 
the world, particularly in the northern hemi- 
sphere, is found a peculiar aquatic plant, with 
large, roundish or peltate leaves, that float 
upon the surface of the water, which are among 
the loveliest products of the floral world. They 
are, however, by no means new to travelers, or 
even to science, and have been so often de- 
scribed that it would be almost useless to repeat 
a description here. 



190 



NATURE'S REALM. 



But there are some points ot special interest 
that may not be generally known, that we will 
notice. Altogether there are about thirty ac- 
cepted species, five of which are found growing 
within the limits of the United States. 

Nymphaea odorata (Aiton). — This is our 
common American water lily, and is familiar 
to all. If has large, orbicular, floating leaves, 
often six inches in diameter, attached to the 
stem at near the centre, and cleft from the 
base to the insertion of the stem. The flowers 
are white, often shaded more or less with pink ; 
very fragrant ; opening with the sun in the 
morning but closing again about 3 P. M., about 
five and a hall inches in diameter more or less 
double, or petals arranged in fours in many 
rows, imbricated so as to cover the whole of 
the ovary. But of all strange flowers the N. 
odorata are the most interesting to botanists, 
from the fact of its showing the gradual and 
perfect graduation of forms from stamens to 
pistils and thence to sepals. 

We find under cultivation the flowers usually 
last two days in perfection, but after the second 
day the closed flower sinks gradually down in 
the water and ripens the seed, the decaying 
petals still adhering to the ovary. The root- 
stocks of N. odorata are long, roundish and 
often as large as a man's arm. They make 
their growth from the end, creeping along the 
bottom and lie buried in the mud, with from a 
few inches of water over them, to several feet. 
Upon cutting the root or leafstems they are 
found to contain a large amount of milky juice, 
often farinaceous, and are consequently often 
used for food. 

N. odorata minor (Sims). — This is a rare va- 
riety, and may be said to be only a dwarf or 
stunted variety, growing in shallow water and 
in cold bogs or sandy soil. The flowers are 



white and two or three inches in diameter, with 
leaves from two to five inches broad. 

N. tuberosa (Paine).- — Very similar to N. 
odorata in general appearance. The leaves 
reniform, orbicular, about a foot broad and 
very prominently ribbed ; flowers from four 
and a half to nine inches in diameter; petals 
broad and blunt, pure white, never pinkish ; 
scentless, or with a faint odor of apples ; root- 
stock bearing tubers often compound which 
spontaneously detach themselves. 

N. odorata rosea, — This is the famous Cape 
Cod water lily, and the grandest acquisition 
ever made to our list of hardy Nymphaea. It 
possesses all the desirable qualities of the 
white-flowered species — hardiness, freedom of 
bloom and delicious fragrance, with the added 
charm ot a deep pink color. 

A*, alba. — This is the native water lily of 
England and Germany. The flowers are 
white, the petals broader and more waxy than 
A", oderata. It begins to bloom earlier and 
remains in bloom longer than our native Nym- 
phaea. 

A', coerulea. — The blue lotus of the Nile has 
large, fragrant, sky-blue flowers ; leaves float- 
ing, crenate ; lobes partly united and becom- 
ing peltate. 

A', lotus has large white flowers, tinted with 
pink ; sepals red at the margins ; leaves 
strongly toothed and the under side promi- 
nently veined ; grow in the slow-running 
streams and rice fields of Egypt. 

N. edulis has white flowers and contains an 
abundance of starch in its roots, and is a valu- 
able article of diet in India. This variety, as 
well as the dentata, rubra, devoniensis and 
others, are night bloomers (the flowers open 
after six in the evening and close again in the 
morning), and supposed to be modified forms 
of A T . lotus. 



MY AQUARIUM OF 

B\ C.EOKGE 

Four years ago I built for one of the show 
windows of my store an aquarium for keeping 
specimens of the various kinds of fish caught 
in the waters of our county. It is built to fit 
the irregular angles of the window, about as 
follows : 

Scale 1-12. Front sides. a/> and be, are plate glass; back 
sides, a/, tic and fa, and the bottom, are wood, lined with sheet 
lead. The sides are ten inches high inside and the bottom con- 
tains about eleven square feet surface. At e the water pipe >n 
ccrnes over the top. and under pressure from our city water- 
works a steady jet of water is thrown through a very small 
nozzle down into the tank. The water stands twelve inches 
Jeep, making a total of about eighty gallons, and overflows at/, 
tour inches below the 
top ot the tank, into 
the back tank. ghi. 
This back tank fills 
to a seven-inch depth 
and then the water 
passes from the over- 
flow, k, down thro' 
the cellar into the 
sewer. 

When the fish 
eat there is nec- 
essarily some 
excrement and 
undigested par- 
ticles of food, 
such as minnow 
bones, claws of 
crawfish, etc. 
This offal tends to befoul the water, and if not 
removed will produce the so-called " aquarium 
disease." To avoid this filth disease I have 
covered the bottom of the tank with small 
rocks and pebbles, between which the sedi- 
ment gathers and remains until I clean it out. 
I clean the tank about once a month during 
the summer season in the following manner : 
I turn the water pipe in to throw the water into 
the back tank at gj catch the fish with a land- 
ing net and put them in there also. Then with 
twelve feet of one-inch rubber hose I siphon 
the accumulated filth out of the main tank and 
wash it clean of green slime, etc. Before put- 
ting the fish back I clean them also by holding 
them under the strong jet of inflowing water, 
which cuts the slime from their bodies and 




BLACK BASS, ETC. 

Kami-er. 

makes the back tank look like a tub full of soap- 
suds. This cleaning must be done when the 
fish have empty stomachs, otherwise it will 
make them vomit, By these means I have 
succeeded in avoiding the aquarium disease 
among my fish, and they are in a healthy con- 
dition. 

The sketch gives you a fair idea ot the size 
and general arrangement of my aquarium, and 
I will now tell you something about its inhab- 
itants, and a few incidental observations. I 
will begin with the statement that, excepting 

one large carp, 
which remained 
only forty-eight 
hours, no fish 
have ever been 
in my aquarium 
that were not 
caught legiti- 
mately with 
hook and line in 
public water ad- 
jacent to Dan- 
ville. The first 
were put there 
in March, 1887, 
and the suckers 
were put ther e 
simply to fill up until the bass began to bite. 
About April 25 of the same year I had replaced 
the suckers with twelve small-mouthed black 
bass, weighing from one to three and a halt 
pounds each ; three rock bass or goggle-eyes, 
two bullheads, one small channel catfish and 
one eel. The two largest bass were a female 
very heavy with eggs, weighing three and a 
half pounds, and a male fish a trifle longer but 
more slender, weighing three and a quarter 
pounds. The female had been caught in the 
Vermilion River under the Wabash Railroad 
bridge, and the male in the North Fork, above 
the dam. Near the middle ot May I noticed 
that on warm days the male fish would take 
possession of the centre of the tank and com- 
pel all the other fish, except the large female, 



192 



NATURE'S REALM. 



to huddle in the corners. The large female 
appeared to be at liberty to do as she pleased ; 
the two had evidently decided to mate and 
nest, and the male seemed to do the fighting 
for both of them. They were a handsome 
couple, and naturally I was much interested in 
the probable outcome of their courtship. 

On May 20 I was out of the city, remaining 
away over night, and returned the next morn- 
ing. As I stepped from the train on to the de- 
pot platform the first man I met accosted me 
with. " George, your fish are all dead," and I 
heard the same unwelcome news several times 
before I reached my store, where I found the 
case as bad as represented. All the bass, the 
goggle-eyes and the channel catfish, were laid 
out in a row ; every vestige of the color of life 
had left them ; they were pale as ghosts — dead. 
Standing near them, viewing them with a sad 
face (he also had learned to love them), and 
somewhat in fear of my wrath, was my clerk, 
Willie. To my question, " Willie, how did it 
happen?" he answered: "Mr. Kamper, I 
hardly know. When I opened the store this 
morning the water was only dripping a little 
and the fish were dead." Further questioning 
brought the information that, before closing 
the store the preceding night, Willie had turned 
down the strong pressure to enable him to 
draw a cup of water to drink, and he had for- 
gotten to turn it on again. The absence ot 
pressure had permitted a speck of dirt to lodge 
in the nozzle, and the flow of water stopped en- 
tirely. Soon after daybreak the policeman on 
this beat noticed my fish showing signs of dis- 
tress, gasping for breath and rolling and tum- 
bling as if in delirium, and also that the water 
had stopped. He hunted for me at my rooms 
and at the hotel, but I was not in the city. 
When Willie came at 7 o'clock life had left all 
of the fish except the eel and the two bullheads. 
These, I was told, kept their mouths near the 
surface, and they survived. 

About the middle of May the bass in our 
rivers begin to nest, and as for that reason I 
could not immediately stock my aquarium with 
bass, I filled it temporarily with channel cat- 
fish. The catfish were rather unsatisfactory, 
on account of their habit of huddling together 
in the darkest corner during the day, feeding 



only at night after all the lights were turned 
out and everything was dark and quiet. When 
bass fishing again began in August, I soon re- 
placed the catfish with a fresh lot of bass, but 
none were as interesting as the large pair that 
was killed in the disaster of May 20. 

With the approach of winter I decided that 
the water would be undesirable in my window 
during the cold weather, and I also needed the 
show window for holiday goods, etc., therefore 
about the middle of November I killed the fish, 
shut off the water and removed the tank. This 
ended the first year. In March, 1888, I again 
put my aquarium in the window, turned on 
the water and filled up with suckers and bull- 
heads until the bass commenced to bite. 

By the latter part of April I again had a lot 
of bass ranging in weight from one and a half 
to two and a half pounds each, but although 
some cf these were heavy with eggs, I saw no 
signs of mating or attempting to nest, and in 
July the fish dropped their spawn, which went 
to waste. 

I feed my fish principally with minnows, of 
which I bring two or three bucketfulls at a time 
from the river. At the store I assort them, 
throwing the largest and choicest into the back 
tank for future use as bait, and throwing the 
balance to my fish for feed. After a few 
months of this practice I noticed that the bass 
appeared to understand the meaning of the rat- 
tling of the minnow buckets, and this set me to 
experimenting. Though they were at first 
somewhat timid, the bass soon ceased to fear 
my hand in the water near them, and before 
long they boldly took hold of minnows held by 
me, and forcibly pulled them out of my hand. 
When they are not hungry, they are ui course 
beyond my control, but if they want something 
to eat it is different. They will then come to 
my hand, permit me to chuck them under the 
chin, and appear to say by looks almost as elo- 
quent as words, "Give me something to eat," 
and I seldom let them beg in vain. 

Of course I felt proud of them, and became 
so attached to them that I dreaded the ap- 
proach of winter, for I did not want to kill them, 
and could not keep them in my window during 
the winter months. I had plenty of room in 
my cellar, but how about the food supply ? 



NATURE'S REAL.\,. 



'93 



Could I winter my pets ? Still undecided what 
to do, I noticed that as the water became 
colder the appetite of my fish diminished, and 
then it dawned on me that they might live 
through the winter without food. 

On the day before Thanksgiving I moved my 
aquarium into the cellar, changed the water 
pipe to supply the same kind of a stream down 
there, and put the fish into winter quarters. 
On January i, 1889, during a period of mild 
weather, I induced some boys to go to a shel- 
tered bluff facing south and dig some worms. 
They brought me a can full of choice earth- 
worms, and I went down with them to inter- 
view my pets. The fish seemed to be comfort- 
able in the cellar twilight ; the slow, regular 
motions of their fins necessary to maintain 
their position, and the slight and almost 
imperceptible movements of their jaws and gill 
covers in the act of breathing, were the only 
signs of life about them. I held in front of 
them some of those long, fat earthworms, 
curling and twisting, but they would not touch 
them, though they had the previous summer 
taken many such out of my hand with evident 
relish as a change of diet. I even hung a large 
worm over the snout of one of the fish, but he 
leisurely shook it off and permitted it to fall to 
the bottom. Being convinced that the fish 
would not eat, I ceased to worry about their 
winter food supply, emptied the worms into the 
water and left them. The following March I 
moved the fish upstairs again, finding them all 
plump and healthy, and the worms still crawl- 
ing about in the bottom of the tank. As the 
water became warmer the fish regained their 
appetite and began to feed, rather slowly at 
first, bUi with increasing vigor as spring 
ripened into summer. The summer of 1889 
was a repetition of the preceding one, in so far 
that the bass had lost their fear of the hand of 
man, and remained tame and healthy. During 
that summer I put in with them for a few 
weeks a channel catfish weighing five pounds. 
He was a handsome fish, with a small head, 
and slender, gracelul body, beautifully marked 
with black dots on the pale blue skin, and 
made a grand fight when I captured him, but 
the brute had no sense whatever. Any motion 
throwing a shadow over the water frightened 



him, and I lound that in his fright, rushing 
about with horns sticking out stiff, he had in- 
jured some of my bass. I was compelled to 
take him out and kill him. 

During the winter of 1889 to 1896, I kept 
twenty bass in the cellar, putting them down 
earlier than the preceding fall, and before they 
had entirely stopped feeding; I put with them 
a batch of minnows, which they ate in the cel- 
lar. When I again moved them upstairs in 
March I found that my tank was very foul, the 
fish were very slimy, and those that had been 
horned the preceding summer by the large 
catfish were very sore in the injured spots. I 
took the injured ones (four in number) back to 
the river, where I hope they have found a doc- 
tor to heal their wounds. The uninjured ones 
I washed carefully ; with the warm weather 
they regained their full appetite, and the six 
largest are in my tank to-day. Last fall I 
waited until the fish had quit feeding before I 
put them into the cellar again, and did not at- 
tempt to winter so many, and the result is that 
there is not a mar or blemish on one of them. 
They are upstairs in my window again, and 
enumerate as follows : 

Three rock bass or goggle-eyes, weighing 
between, four and six ounces each, which I 
have had about two years. One channel cat- 
fish, which I caught in June, 1889, when he 
weighed one and three-fourths pounds ; he now 
weighs over three pounds, and has lost much 
of his unreasoning natural fear. Two scale 
carp, one weighing three-quarters of a pound, 
which I caught last August, and the other one 
caught in April, 1889, when it weighed one and 
a half pounds, but which now weighs three 
pounds. Last, but not least, ten small-mouthed 
black bass, six of which are of the lot caught in 
April, 1888; one has been in my possession 
since September, 1889, and the other three 
since October, 1890. The largest one is the 
two and a half pound fish of the spring of 1888 ; 
he has grown very little in length, but consid- 
erable in thickness and depth, and now weighs 
three and a half pounds. The other nine bass 
weigh from three pounds six ounces down to 
two and a half pounds, and the aggregate 
weight of the ten is thirty-one pounds. 

You see by above enumeration that I have 



1 9 4 



NATURE'S REALM. 



not confined my attention strictly to bass, and 
you can readily understand that under the cir- 
cumstances a thorough " fish crank " can pick 
up many odd bits of information on the subject 
of his hobby. 

As my back tank is a very convenient place 
for fresh-caught fish until I am ready to use 
them, I always endeavor, when fishing, to keep 
my catch alive. After landing a fish I string 
him by carefully putting a string through be- 
tween the gills and the outer gill cover (never 
between two red gills), and then out at the 
mouth, drawing it through slowly, so as not to 
draw blood from the gills. I tie a separate 
loop for each fish, so they do not strain each 
other's gills, and tie them in the water until I 
am ready to go home. If I am on foot I carry 
the fish home by the strings, and, if in a con- 
veyance, they are laid down in the bottom of 
the wagon. When the weather is cool fish may 
be kept out of water an hour or even longer, 
and regain their health, but a carry of only fif- 
teen or twenty minutes through a hot summer 
sun often kills them. Bass are more hardy and 
able to bear more exposure than the channel 
catfish. The small wound made by the hook 
in the hard jaws of a bass scarcely shows the 
next day, but in the jaws of a channel catfish 
the hook wound often festers and remains sore 
for several weeks. 

Small-mouthed bass have always been quick 
to grow accustomed to their changed surround- 
ings ; they soon begin to feed, and soon cease 
to become frightened at unusual motions or 
shadows, but have always strenuously objected 
to having a landing net put under them. They 
permit me, and apparently enjoy to have me 
rub their backs and sides with a stick, some- 
what similar to dogs who like to have their 
heads scratched. 

With large-mouthed bass my experience has 
been quite different. I have often tried to make 
one of them a permanent resident in my aqua- 
rium, but have not succeeded. They remain 
wild, refuse to eat, and finally sicken and die. 
I made my last attempt with a three-pounder 
last summer. He had not been injured in the 
catching, had to bear only ten minutes of car- 
rying on a moderately cool day, and arrived at 
my aquarium without showing any sign of 



weakness, swimming off as soon as put in the 
water. I never saw him feed, and at the end 
of three months he looked so shrunken and 
miserable that I took him back to the river in 
disgust, determined not to try any more exper- 
iments with large-mouthed bass. Catfish also 
have been unsatisfactory tenants in my aqua- 
rium. The bullheads and the flat-headed 
marbled catfish have become diseased after six 
months or a year, probably because they per- 
sisted in lying so close to the filth which gath- 
ers between the rocks in the bottom, and they 
had no mud to crawl through to clean them- 
selves. Probably, also, I did not take as much 
pains to wash and clean them as I did my other 
fish. Channel catfish have shown no tendency 
to become diseased (they are not mud rooters), 
but their wild and unreasoning fear, which 
causes them on the slightest provocation to 
rush about with stiff horns, added to their 
strength and agility, makes them rather dan- 
gerous for their neighbors. The one now in 
my tank was wild all of the first year, but he 
was not large enough to do any damage. Of 
pike we have only a few small ones in our 
river, still I have several times put a pike fifteen 
inches long into my aquarium. Suckers we 
have plenty, and I have tried them of all sizes, 
large and small, but the small-mouthed black 
bass seem to possess an inveterate hatred 
against pike and suckers. They swallow 
either if less than seven inches long, and vi- 
ciously attack the larger ones, biting them till 
they die. 

Rock bass or goggle-eyes, even if only three 
inches long, are permitted by their lordly and 
somewhat vicious neighbors to live in peace. 
They soon become reconciled to their new 
quarters, soon begin to feed, and thrive about 
as well as their messmates, the small-mouthed 
black bass. Carp are also permitted by the 
other fish to live undisturbed. Sunfish live all 
right, but unless they are more than three 
inches in diameter, their career ends inside ot 
the bass. Eels live in peace and health with 
their neighbors (I have found the tendency to 
become diseased only in the bullheads and 
mud catfish), but they have too much curiosity, 
and are forever climbing out of the aquarium. 
Many times have I found them on the floor and 



NATURE'S REALM. 



'95 



put them back into the water, but invariably 
their final end has been to climb out at night 
and die before I found them the next morning. 
The last eel I had (thirty inches long and two 
and a half pounds in weight), was probably 
cured ot his roving propensities by being very 
near the point of death several times before he 
was found and restored to the water, for he re- 
mained in the tank an entire year without 
climbing out. 

One Sunday evening last August I happened 
to come to the store, and I found quite a crowd 
collected in front. One of my old pet bass had 
jumped out and died, lying between the tank 
and the window. I could not understand it — 
the bass ought to have known better. The 
next morning my eel was on the floor, dead. 
.*■ omething was surely wrong, and on investi- 
gation I found that a large snapping turtle, 
which I had temporarily put into the back tank 
until I was ready to eat him, had managed to 
climb over into the main tank. How he suc- 
ceeded I can't imagine, but I could hardly 
blame the bass and the eel for wanting to avoid 
the company of the ugly intruder. You may 
rest assured that I promptly put the big snap- 
per into an iron cage until I was ready to kill 
him. This summer I intend to make one more 
attempt to keep an eel. 

Last September the owner of a private pond 
presented me with a carp weighing seven 
pounds. I put it into the tank, but the brute 
was sighing for its native mud and would not 
be contented. It was too clumsy to climb out, 
but managed to throw water ten feet high, and 
in less than forty-eight hours it had pounded 
its tail fin into shreds, knocked most of the 
skin from the top of its head, and had the gen- 
eral appearance of having been run through a 
threshing machine. It went from the tank into 
the bake oven. 

During these four years of feeding my fish, I 
have of course paid some attention to their pre- 
ferences in food, and their manner of taking it. 

For bass, minnows are undoubtedly the 
great staple food, and of these the larger are 
preferred to the smaller. Whenever I give 
them a lot of minnows of various sizes, from 
two to five inches long, they always pick out 
the largest ones first, and take the smaller ones 



only after no larger ones are left. Black bass, 
rock bass and channel catfish will eat crawfish, 
but they prefer minnows. I have often found 
my fish eager after minnows when they ignored 
crawfish. One day last summer, when my fish 
had been without food for several days, I 
brought from the river a six-quart minnow 
bucket filled solid (without water) with craw- 
fish, and another bucket filled with minnows. 
I set the bucket with the minnows into the back 
tank, and dumped the crawfish into the main 
tank. The bass immediately commenced to 
feed, but after twenty minutes they had quit 
entirely, and the bottom of the tank was still 
swarming with crawfish. I then emptied in 
the bucketful of minnows (more than a hundred 
shiners, two or three inches long), and the fish 
immediately commenced to feed again, making 
the water fairly boil. Five minutes afterward 
they had taken all of the minnows, and their 
bellies were a sight ; bass, goggle-eyes and 
channel catfish, all were stuffed till it seemed 
their skins would burst. 

All of my fish enjoy a few worms occasion- 
ally, and during the summer I sometimes catch 
a lot of grasshoppers, which are always taken 
quickly by the bass and goggle-eyes. 

Last summer some workmen, digging under 
a coal house in the rear of my store, caught 
some mice, which I induced them to bring in 
and throw to my fish. Five of the mice were 
alive and kicking, and, as soon as they struck 
the water, each were promptly caught by a 
bass and swallowed. The sixth mouse had 
been killed in the catching, but before it had 
stopped the motion caused from throwing it, a 
bass had it. The fish held the dead mouse 
only a second or two, when he spit it out, and 
it floated lifeless on the surface ; none of the 
fish would or did eat it. A boy once brought 
me a live sparrow, full-feathered and nearly 
full-grown, which I threw into the tank. The 
bird was struggling in the water, and within 
five seconds from the time it was thrown in, 
one of the large bass caught it — and he swal- 
lowed it, too. The sparrow was a big mouth- 
ful for the bass, but slowly and gradually I saw 
the tail feathers disappear, and finally I could 
see a large lump in the body of the fish. 

The capacity of the stomach of a fish is won- 



196 



NATURES REALM. 



derful. My oldest bass one day came to my 
hand seventeen consecutive times, taking and 
swallowing a three-inch shiner each time, be- 
fore he was willing to stay back and give the 
other fish a chance. Sometimes, when their 
stomachs are filled so they can hold no more, 
the bass continue to catch minnows, squeeze 
and kill them, and spit them out. What fisher- 
man of any considerable experience in fishing 
with bait for small-mouthed black bass, has not 
been tantalized by having run after run, when 
the bass simply squeezed and killed his min- 
nows and then dropped them ? And when this 
tiger spirit possesses the fish, what can equal 
the satisfaction that the fisherman feels when 
he beats the bass at his own game, and cap- 
tures him by spinning a dead minnow ? Spin- 
ning, not with a gang of a thousand hooks, or 
six hooks, or three hooks, but with a plain, 
single Sproat hook on a single gut leader. But 
I am digressing from the subject of " My Aqua- 
rium." 

In August, 1889, I was attacked with sick- 
ness, and for four weeks I was unable to go 
after feed for my pets. Some of my friends 
went several times, but there were ten days 
when my fish had received nothing to eat, and 
they were ravenous. They certainly were 
hungry enough to eat fresh meat if they could 
be made to eat it at any time, so I tried them, 
and threw in some pieces of fresh beef. As 
fast as the pieces of beef struck the water they 
grabbed for it like a pack of hungry wolves. 
Every bass in the tank snatched a piece of beef, 
and every one of them spit it out again. The 
bass, when hungry, appear to be willing to 
swallow anything that wriggles, but they cer- 
tainly refuse to swallow anything that does not 
show some signs of life. 

My carp was neglected during the summer 
of 1889, and as he had to sustain life as best he 
could, he has learned to eat minnows. He 
readily takes small minnows, if killed or crip- 
pled so he can catch them. He increased very 
little in size during 1889, but last summer I fed 
him bread, and then I noticed a steady growth. 
The carp is a great forager, always on the 
move, picking up bits of food, but he does not 
Stuff himself as fulj as the others do. The 



channel catfish also likes bread, and while 
feeding the catfish and carp last summer, I 
found that they can smell the bread. After 
first noticing this, I experimented a great many 
times by quietly dropping bread, kneaded into 
balls to make it sink, into one corner, when 
both fish were four or five feet away, with 
heads turned in the opposite direction. After 
the bread had been on the bottom a few sec- 
onds, the catfish and carp would suddenly turn, 
swim directly to the bread, and begin to feed 
on it. They could not have seen me drop the 
bread and must be able to smell it. 

While the channel catfish are fond of and are 
expert in catching live minnows and crawfish, 
they are almost omniverous, and will also eat 
beef, liver, bread, corn, mussels or fresh water 
clams, worms, and in fact anything that has 
not become stale and putrid. 

According to my experience the bass, chan- 
nel catfish and carp eat practically nothing 
when the temperature of the water is near the 
freezing point ; their appetite increases or di- 
minishes as the water becomes warmer or 
colder, and during the heat of summer they 
consume enormous quantities of food. A bass 
fresh from the river in the spring tastes quite 
different from one equally fresh from the river 
in the fall, and I have noticed in cleaning fish, 
that in April, when the scales are scraped from 
a bass the fish is clean, but in early November, 
when the water is fully as cold as it was in 
April, slime continues to ooze out of the fish 
after the scales are scraped off, and after re- 
peated scrapings this slime still comes. I have 
often thought that possibly this slime or oil, 
which permeates the entire body of the bass 
after the summer period of strong feeding, but 
is absent after the winter's period of fasting, is 
the surplus vital power stored up during the 
feeding time, which sustains the fish during 
their periods of fasting. 

My aquarium has been for myself and friends 
a source of much interest and pleasure, and if 
any brother angler wants to try the experiment, 
I shall be pleased to give him further informa- 
tion about details for building and managing a 
similar one. 



NOTES AND QUERIES 



[Under this Department Heading queries relative to all branches of Natural History will be answered] 



A Spider Whirling a Fly. 

On a bright summer afternoon of last season 
while lazily resting on the porch in the warm 
atmosphere, I observed a fly suddenly stop, 
flutter and struggle, apparently in mid air. 
This was soon explained by a little black and 
brown spider, a shade larger than the fly, dart- 
ing down from a beam overhead, perpendicu- 
larly above the fly. Reaching the latter he 




f ■■■ "'■ ~~7~" 



was but a moment in doing whatever he did to 
secure his prey, and he then ran nimbly up his 
single cord, which I found, although it was 
scarcely perceptible, stretched taut from the 
beam above to a cross rail of fancy wor . be- 
low. 

The spider ascended about eighteen inches 
above the fly, then quickly turned head down- 
ward, taking hold of the line with its forelegs, 
as a child would a jumping rope, and with a 
swaying motion the then struggling fly began 
to be swung around something like a button 
would be in the centre of a string held by both 
hands and rapidly turned by a circular motion. 



The speed was so rapid that by the time it had 
reached a circuit of about four inches in diam- 
eter the fly could scarcely be discerned. In 
about a minute its operation ceased and the fly 
was quiet. 

I then found on examination that the fly was 
still alive, and I felt moved to try if I could se- 
cure its freedom. Taking it carefully from the 
web line — no doubt to the disgust of the spider 
— I found under the magnifying glass that 
every leg was closely tied together in the same 
manner as farmers formerly tied the feet ot 
calves together when taking them to market in 
the bottom of their wagons. Taking a needle 
I tried to release the legs, but the work of the 
spider was too well done, and the fly soon ex- 
pired. Did anyone ever witness such a mode 
of a spider securing its game ? 

IV. M. Kohl. 



The Tame Crow. 

One of the first pets I ever owned was a 
crow. He was given to me in a crippled con- 
dition, and I nursed him patiently for some 
weeks until he was able to look out for himselt 
pretty well. He always limped and never 
could fly, but passed most of his time between 
getting into mischief and escaping punishment, 
for both of which he showed an immense 
amount of talent. He slept in the barn, and 
one cold night in winter he failed to go in to 
his usual roost, and froze to death in the snow- 
outside the door. 

Crows make very amusing pets for any one 
who can put up with their innate spirit of 
deviltry, and besides that they can be taught to 
talk more distinctly than most parrots. It is a 
common idea among the country people that 
they will not talk unless their tongues are cut 
at a certain tender age. Be that as it may, I 
have heard crows talk excellently that never 
had their tongues cut, and some whose tongues 
are cut never will talk at all. I always take 
my chances without cutting, and out of nearly 
a dozen that I have owned only two proved de- 
void of a bump of language. 

To be sure of having a r good, affectionate 



198 



NATURE'S REALM. 



crow, take him from the nest as soon after 
hatching as you can find him. If it is the first 
of the brood hatched, all the better. How are 
you to tell that? Why, if you find one baby 
crow and four eggs in the nest, does not that 
settle the question beyond dispute ? Name 
him as soon as you get home. It is a good 
plan to have a family consultation on this sub- 
ject, for a rechristening is fatal to the proper 
education of your callow charge. Always call 
him by name whenever you feed him. He will 
learn his name before he knows what feathers 
are, and respond to it whenever he hears it ut- 
tered. Feed, until half fledged, on meal and 
water — regular "chicken dough" — and if any 
"chicken sicknesses" come on consult the 
"chicken doctor." In other words, the young 
crow must be raised on about the same diet as 
a young chicken. Feed plenty and feed often. 
A crow's nest is the best thing to keep him in 
during his infantile days. If you haven't one 
make a substitute. As he grows in strength and 
is able to travel about a little he needs more vari- 
ety in his food, but be careful he does not swallow 
anything that is very salt. Dump a handful of 
gravel down his mouth occasionally, and give 
him minnows and frogs once in a while. Swal- 
lowing his first live frog seems to give a young 
crow a most agreeable new sensation. Do not 
be in any hurry about making him bathe. He 
will wash himself whenever it is necessary, and 
if taken and plunged into cold water while the 
pin feathers are full of blood, it may cause him 
to literally " catch his death o' cold." As soon 
as he is well on the wing his language lessons 
should begin. Shut him up in a darkened 
room when well fed, and begin by whispering 
the word or phrase you wish him to learn. If 
he seems to be listening repeat it a little louder, 
and continue until he either grows restless or 
goes to sleep. It will be but a few minutes. 
Repeat the same lesson and nothing else every 
time you visit him or pass within hearing for a 
week or ten days, and if your crow don't talk 
in that time he probably never will. Generally 
they will begin to practice to themselves the 
first or second day of their imprisonment, but 
once a word or phrase is learned others will 
quickly follow. If really talented, you can 
make your crow appear to answer a question. 



For instance, call his name gently and add 
what in a loud, emphatic tone. Soon, when 
his name is called, he will respond what with 
just the same emphasis and inflection that he 
has heard you give. Then, again, if you say 
"It's dinner time" whenever you feed him, 
some day he will walk into the house hungry 
and gravely announce, "It's dinner time." 

As he grows in years and knowledge your 
crow will develop a variety of thievish and 
amusing tricks too numerous to mention. He 
will cultivate the most friendly acquaintance 
with some people and show an unaccountable 
animosity toward others. He will attend you 
part way whenever you leave home, and, if 
your hours of return are regular, will probably 
meet you at the same spot and welcome you 
exuberantly. Every time he fails to do so look 
for him at once ; he will either be in some ut- 
terly entrancing bit of mischiet or else dead. 

Robert Curzon. 



A Dead Bird. 

During the night a little bird crept into my 
office over one of the windows. When I came 
down it was wild and frightened, and flew 
against the panes violently. I kept the door 
open as long as was possible on a cold morn- 
ing, but it could not seem to find it. During 
the day it grew less frightened, and sometimes 
lighted on my desk. I sprinkled some cracker 
for it, which it ate, stopping often to look at me 
with bright eyes. Toward evening it grew so 
tame that it would eat from my hand, and let 
me caress it. I thought to keep it for a pet, 
but the next mornir.g it was dead. As I looked 
upon the feathered nothing before me I won- 
dered what had become of the life it was so full 
of yesterday, a force so powerful that I some- 
times feared for the window panes. Science 
tells us that nothing is ever lost ; the bird's life 
was something, hence it must still exist some- 
where. That the life force is not tangible, 
something to be touched and examined with 
the microscope, makes it none the less endur- 
ing. Other elements of Nature, whose inde- 
structibility we do not question, are equally in- 
tangible. The life of this bird, then, still exists. 
Does it retain its individuality or has it once 



MATURES REALM. 



199 



more become a part of some great reservoir of 
the life essence : who knows ? 

Albert Bigclow Paint-. 



A Remarkable Fig Trek. 
At the drug store of Mr. J. M. Sprague in St. 
Paul, Minn., there is a thrifty fig tree four 
years old and perhaps five feet high, which 
came up spontaneously in a tub which con- 
tained an oleander. The only way in which 
its voluntary appearance is accounted for is 
that it grew from seeds of figs which had been 
fed to a canary whose cage hung over the tub. 
But the most perplexing part of the problem 
rests on the fact that the figs were preserved. 
Will seeds of preserved figs retain their germi- 
nating properties ? Sometimes, perhaps. 



The Aristocratic Malamauk. 

Referring to a quotation from Mr. R. H. 
Strother's "Fishing Adventures on the New- 
foundland Banks," published in Harper's 
Magazine in 1861, wherein several kinds of 
sea birds are mentioned, including "roaches" 
and "the aristocratic-looking malamauk," we 
have Prof. Elliot Cones' authority for saying 
that "roaches" are "rotchies" misspelled. 
The bird is the least auk (Alle alle or Alle 
nigricans). " Malamauk " is the fulmar petrel 
(Fulmarus glacialis) misspelled. Proper spell- 
ing is "mallemuck." Hagdens are the petrels 
or shearwaters ol the genus Puffinus, as the 
common hagden {P. major), the greater shear- 
water, and the black hagden (P. fuleginosus), 
the sooty shearwater. What are " noodles " I 
don't exactly know, unless they are fellows who 
can't spell. Very likely he means murres or 
foolish guillemots {Lomvia troile). 



The publishers of Nature's Realm desire 
the services of a business manager and an as- 
sociate editor. It is deemed desirable that 
gentlemen who are competent to fill these posi- 
tions should be able to purchase a small inter- 
est in the publication. Detailed information 
will be given upon application to Publishers of 
Nature's Realm, 10 Warren St., New York. 



From Fry to Vk \ki iv 

We had an inquiry some time ago as to the 
best method of keeping trout fry until they be- 
came yearlings, and being anxious to supple- 
ment our own experience with that of Monroe 
A. Green, superintendent of the New York 
hatchery, we wrote him on the subject and 
now give his response : 

" I think the fry will do better if you could 
screen some place where there is plenty of veg- 
etable matter. They would get more natural 
food and do better than you can do for them in 
troughs. It is a pretty nice thing to raise fish 
up to yearlings. They have to be fed six or 
eight times a day, and the troughs cleaned out 
every day or the water will get foul. We start 
our fry in troughs fifteen feet long, seven inches 
deep, fourteen and a half inches wide, with 
gravelly bottom, until they are about two 
months old. Then we transfer them to a pond 
thirty feet long, three feet wide, with gravelly 
bottom, covered over with trap doors, which 
we close up nights to keep the rats and minks 
out ; and it takes constant care to raise them. 
I keep one man that takes care of them, and 
he is busy all the time." 



Sundry Notes. 
Many natural history writers talk very elo- 
quently in defence of the hawks, and assert 
that these birds of flesh-eating habits are of 
more benefit to farmers than they have the 
credit of being. It is true that most all kinds 
of hawks do eat worthless vermin, but this is 
small recomprise to the mischief these pirates 
do in destroying all kinds of useful and beauti- 
ful birds. This subject has been pretty thor- 
oughly discussed, and the moral is substantially 
against the raptores. For years I have been a 
pretty close observer of the nature and habits 
of wild animals and birds, and I have never 
been able to discover any evidence why we 
should protect the hawks. What every sports- 
man should do is to keep up an incessant war- 
fare against all enemies of our game birds and 
birds of sweet song and beautiful plumage. 
Hawks of all kinds, the house sparrow, skunks, 
minks, weasels and coons should receive no 
mercy. 

I think there is a great over estimation in 



200 



NATURE'S REALM. 



regard to the rate of flight attributed to birds 
and wild fowl. While traveling on a Santa Fe 
railway train in this State recently, an event 
came under my observation that enlightened 
me somewhat. A flock of thirty or forty mal- 
lard ducks kept flying along parallel to our 
train for several miles, and their rates of travel 
and our rate were exactly the same. The clay 
was comparatively calm, and the ducks had a 
fair chance to display their ability ot flight. 
Our train was running at the rate of thirty 
miles per hour, hence the great rate of flight 
credited to this class of ducks I deem is largely 
imaginary. 

What is the use of writing and talking about 
being careful in the handling and use of fire- 
arms ? Here is a sportsman telling in a sport- 
ing journal about how his gun was discharged 
while being pushed under a barb wire fence, 



and the muzzle of the gun directed toward him ! 
Shouldn't we quit this subject when one of our 
own men will go and violate reason by allow- 
ing his gun at full cock to be pointed toward 
his person ? But then we draw consolation 
from the statement of a scientific writer who 
states that we all are at times insane. 

A writer in Sports Afield speaks very firmly 
against Sunday shooting. There is no defense 
for anyone going forth on the Sabbath and vio- 
lating law and order by the use ot firearms. 
No other practice is so far reaching and fla- 
grant than this. People in general respect the 
Sabbath and want it reversed as a time of de- 
votion and rest, hence we are trespassing upon 
the liberty and peace of others by shooting on 
this day. Let the practice be discouraged and 
frowned down by true sportsmen everywhere. 

"Jasper Blines. 



(Fi 



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is our latest camera. Its name is 
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so that in supplying the camera and 
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ought to make a good picture. To 
be sure you get the Knack send to 
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